Saturday, May 18

Putin could be the richest person on the planet




Vladimir Putin very well may be the richest man in the world.

But it’s impossible to say for sure. According to the Kremlin, the Russian president earns around $133,000 (£96k) a year and lives in a small apartment.

• Vladimir Putin may be the wealthiest man in the world.

• Forbes won’t even estimate his net worth, because it can’t verify his financial assets, Newsweek reported.

• The Russian president does indulge in some displays of immense wealth, however.

• Putin is reported to own luxury watches, a fleet of yachts, and multiple expensive properties, including a $1 billion palace.

• American financier Bill Browder estimated that Putin had “accumulated $200 billion (£144bn) of ill-gotten gains,” according to the Atlantic.

That description doesn’t jive with most accounts of Putin’s lifestyle. Former Russian government adviser Stanislav Belkovsky estimated his fortune is worth $70 billion (£50.5bn).

Hedge fund manager Bill Browder, a noted critic of Putin, claimed it was more like $200 billion (£144bn).

A fortune that enormous would propel him straight past Amazon founder and richest man in the world Jeff Bezos, who Forbes estimates has $125.6bn (£90.6bn) to his name.

So why can’t we pin down Putin’s net worth with any certainty? The 2015 Panama Papers revealed that Putin may obscure and bolster his fortune through proxies.

We’ve put together a list of all the clues that indicate Putin is likely one of the richest people on the planet: