His title might be President, but apparently, Russia's Vladimir Putin lives like a king. With a capital K. Today, some of Putin's harshest critics released a report detailing what they say is Putin's lavish lifestyle.
How lavish? Try 20 palaces and villas, 43 planes, 15 helicopters, a flotilla of yachts worth nearly $100 million, several top of the line Mercedes and a toilet worth $75,000 - all at his disposal and all of it allegedly paid for by taxpayer money.
The report was done by two of Putin's biggest opponents - Boris Nemtsov, who is a former deputy Prime Minister and Leonid Martynyuk, a member of the opposition Solidarity movement. It is mostly based on stories in the media.
In the report, they say...
"Putin has led Russia for more than 12 years... Losing popularity, Putin is maniacally clinging to power," they write. "One of the most serious reasons... is the atmosphere of wealth and luxury... which he does not want to give up."
They also say Putin has given himself unprecedented presidential perks and they say "we did not publish... the cost of the clothes and things that Putin regularly uses: the suits, shoes and ties worth tens of thousands of dollars."
They go on to write "In a country where more than 20 million people can hardly make ends meet, the luxurious life of the president is a blatant and cynical challenge to society by a limitless ruler."
At one villa, they say Putin has a staff of 1000 along with a "presidential church, swimming pool, two restaurants, movie theatre, bowling alley and concrete helipad." One of Putin's planes is said to have an $18 million cabin. The report also mentions a yacht called the Olympia. It's allegedly five-storeys high and costs $50 million a year to maintain.
As far as his personal wealth, Putin declared his income before Russia's last election in March. Officially, it was $115,000. His bank balance was said to be $179,612.
Putin's spokesperson couldn't be reached for comment. But in the past, he has said any rumours of Putin's wealth are "completely stupid." The report is called The Life of a Galley Slave. That's in reference to a quote by Putin in 2008, where he said he has worked like a "galley slave" for the Russian people.
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