Vladimir Putin has been a Russian head of state since 2008 and is undeniably one of the most powerful people in the world. He got his start as an intelligence officer in the KGB and built a web of important allies in the Russian government. Since then, he has become synonymous with Russian politics, serving as the president since 2012.
While some consider him to be despotic, he continues to have high approval ratings among Russian citizens. Because of the shadowy nature of Russian economics, some even believe that he is the wealthiest man on the planet with a net worth in excess of 200 billion dollars. But most headlines focus on his high profile international disputes and subterfuge.
To better understand this mysterious figure, we’re answering the question, how does Vladimir Putin spend his billions? It’s no secret that Putin calls the shots in Russia and has a network of spies and henchmen at his disposal. No one knows exactly how deep his organized crime roots go, but it’s clear that it’s starting to pay off for him.
In 2011, a Russian version of WikiLeaks posted a number of photos of Putin’s secret mansion in the forest by the Black Sea. Many estimate the property to be worth almost $1 billion dollars, making it one of the most expensive houses in the world. Soon after, the pictures went up at ruleaks.net, the site was blocked by Russian authorities.
Dr. Sergey Kolesnikov accuses Putin of paying for the palace through bribery and theft. But, of course, Putin’s office maintains that he has nothing to do with this palace. Regardless, the mansion is surrounded by ornate courtyards and is sandwiched between a mountain range and the beach. This is all in line with the wealth that Putin has secretly accrued over the years.
And unlike the official richest person in the world, Jeff Bezos, Putin doesn’t need to declare his earnings or the massive payouts he gets from illegal activity. On top of his billion dollar mansion, he reportedly has access to 20 different palaces and villas across the world. However, he must enter and exit them secretly lest the public discovers his massive fortune.
In addition to his main residence, Putin has a number of residences throughout Russia. One of the most widely publicized is Borochoff Rucci in Sochi, completed in 1955. It was commissioned by Kliment Voroshilov, a Soviet Marshall and strongman under Joseph Stalin. This government (Inaudible) was frequented by Soviet leaders such as Khrushchev and Brezhnev.
In modern Russia, Borochoff Rucci became an official summer residence of Russia’s president, and it’s the only government on the Black Sea. Putin clearly has a penchant for the finer things. One of those things appears to be a unique super yatch with a rather opaque existence. Although details surrounding Graceful Genesis remain sketchy, we do know some facts about the vessel.
Officially launched in 2013, Graceful displaces 2500 tons, has a steel hull with an aluminum superstructure, features a bulbous bow and is powered by a pair of 3100 horsepower diesel engines that push twin screws. Supposedly it can sleep 14 guests in six rooms, including one large owner’s suite, two VIP staterooms and another three guest cabins.
The ship is designed to accept a crew complement of 24. It is valued at 20 million dollars, making it the cheapest in his fleet of four. One of the yachts, Olympia, was gifted to him by Roman Abramovich, a decent thirty million dollar present. Another yacht called Rossiya was refurbished in 2005 for a total of 1.5 billion dollars.
Little is known about his fourth boat because he tries to maintain his privacy while afloat. Putin bought himself a new limo in 2018, specifically to compete with Donald Trump’s beast. It is called the Aurus Senat. According to NAMI, the Senate is the latest model in a new line of ultra luxury cars that will be sold under the Aurus brand.
The Senat is powered by a five hundred and ninety eight horsepower, 4.4 liter V8 engine paired with a hybrid drive system. It’s mated to a nine speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. The armored Senat is 21.7 feet long and weighs in at a colossal fourteen thousand three hundred thirty pounds.
Like The Beast, the presidential Senat is bullet proof and bomb proof, the Daily Mail reported. The interior has been focused on rear passengers with rear seats that recline 45 degrees and are equipped with designer pillows. There is also a built in refrigerator with Aurus branded crystal glasses and fold out tables with leather trim.
The car is expected to go on sale in Europe from the end of 2020 with a price tag of around 150000 thousand euros. Denis Manturov, Russian minister of industry and Trade, said the president gave feedback to the designers. “He requested some very light amendments about, I would say, the hydraulic system of the car because we made it first quite soft. He asked to make some amendments to make it more, I would say, stronger, maybe more brutal”, Manturov told reporters.
Vladimir Putin’s flying palace was revealed as he touched down in Helsinki for his big meeting with Donald Trump in 2018. The Russian president’s flagship aircraft is a wide bodied, long haul airliner that is easily distinguishable from the regular model by its extended fuselage.
Costing 70 million dollars, the IL-96-300PU jet is equipped with an advanced communication system that allows it to act as a management center capable of commanding troops in case of an unexpected attack. Most of the interior onboard the plane is finished in gold trim, including the toilet and sink in the bathroom.
Russia’s leader can consult with his senior staff on board the jet in this swanky conference style meeting room. The toilet alone is worth thousand dollars. The bedroom suite on board the aircraft is truly spectacular. The furniture and interior decor are finished in the neoclassical style and the planes are equipped with a spacious office and a huge conference table with a gold trim that is surrounded by cream leather seats.
And apparently, this is one of 58 aircraft in Putin’s personal fleet. He supposedly has 8 Tu-154s and their value is between 7.5 million and $20 million depending on their age. He also has two Tu-204-300s. They feature a luxury salon which is protected from noise, complete with modern telephone systems and Internet access.
Fifteen of the aircraft in Putin’s fleet are helicopters. Not much variety here. According to a report, they’re all MI\i-8s, among the most popular models in the world. And these are just a handful of the aircraft that Putin is rumored to have in his fleet. The Russian president has more than 11 luxury watches worth at least $700000 in total, but one stands out from the rest.
The watch is none other than a true grand complication, Patek Philippe wristwatch, a reference 5208P. The 5208P is one of the most complicated watches Patek has ever made, and it includes a minute repeater, a mono pusher chronograph and an instantaneous perpetual calendar. It is one of the most impressive wristwatches in the world and also one of the most expensive.
It costs roughly $1 million and is offered only to the top clients of the brand by application. But then in 2017, the watch was put up for auction. There is some mystery surrounding the watch as it was engraved with Putin’s name, even though he never officially purchased it. Instead, it was auction to an anonymous buyer from Russia.
So far, from what we know, this watch has been bought by a very important person to be given as a gift to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Annabel Farris, auctions director for Monaco Legend, said by email, “the auction house has not contacted the Kremlin about its provenance”, she added.
While he needs to blend in with other political elites, meaning he can’t wear anything particularly flashy, Putin has a taste for fine clothes. At one time, he was nicknamed “the man in black” because he almost exclusively wore black suits. In fact, all of his clothes are custom designed and hand tailored.
His favorite brand is Kiton and Brioni, and they sell their suits for a minimum of five thousand euros each. When it comes to shoes, he wears John Lobb or Salvatore Ferragamo. These also set you back many thousands of dollars, meaning that his wardrobe is likely worth half a million dollars at least.
Although he indulges in popular Western brands, Putin knows that it will be a faux pas to become associated with such decadence. So his personal stylist, whom he has worked with for more than a decade, tears all of the tanks of his clothes individually before he is spotted in public. And of course, Putin is the king of ultra staged photo opportunities.
He wants to show the Russian populace that he has a casual side as well. Thus, he opts for V-neck pullovers, which have replaced the black turtleneck and jacket. Then in 2014, he made one small misstep in his efforts to show regular Russians how vital and relatable he is. In a bizarre photo shoot set in the gym of the state residents in Sochi, Russia, Putin pumped iron alongside Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The sweat pants he was wearing while doing so retail for one thousand four hundred and twenty five dollars a pair, according to Quartz. The pants are made by Italian luxury designer Loro Piana, which specializes in wool and cashmere products. The Portland joggers had made a 50 per cent silk and 50 percent cashmere. He waited until after a set of signed crunchies and a bit of heavy chest breathing to throw on the matching $1795 bomber style zip up hoodie.
A three thousand two hundred and twenty dollar gym outfit may seem excessive to most, but it’s a choice that feels in keeping with Putin’s taste for the gratuitous, finer things. Russia’s stock market is booming and they have some of the highest foreign currency reserves of any nation on earth. Yet the economy is still limping along, by some estimates, on the verge of stagnation.
The prescription in the Kremlin’s eyes is a page out of John Maynard Keynes writings 90 years ago, “for any economy facing a recession or even stagnation, spend more”. In his State of the nation speech, Putin specifically called for spending more on social welfare initiatives. $65 billion through 2024 for things like free hot lunches for schoolchildren and subsidies aimed at encouraging families to have more children.
Because he is a man with many enemies, Putin has beefed up the presidential security service during his time in office, though the organization is necessarily secretive. Putin employs 2000 to 3000 plain clothes officers to guard him at any given time. They secure buildings that he is scheduled to enter and work around the clock to mitigate any threats to his safety.
The unit has armored cars, drones and even a dedicated psychological security unit that collect intelligence regarding any perceived threat, either at home or abroad. And it pays to do well in these positions. Many of Putin’s guards have been promoted to prestigious positions in the Kremlin and gained wealth and prosperity.
And Putin has gifted many of them prized properties in the most highly sought after parts of Russia, often turning to bribery, intimidation and blackmail to scare the current residents out of their homes. Guided by police, an ordinary apartment block in Moscow City Center is rumored to house a two billion dollar art collection, which reportedly includes over 1000 works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and other Renaissance artists.
Once belonging to an octogenarian, Nina Moleva, this collection will go to none other than Putin, per Moleva’s wishes. With a starting price of $400000 at auction, most experts believe the impressive assembly of paintings is worth in excess of two billion dollars.