On one side, there’s the world’s richest man and the first from a developing country with net worth of $69 billion, Carlos Slim Helu who doesn’t believe in conspicuous consumption and lives in modest home with no interest in flashy super yachts, cars, jets or palatial house across the globe. On the other hand, here’s the Russian President Vladimir V. Putin who is rumored to be among the world’s wealthiest men, with a fortune worth tens of billions, which he of-course denies. Born in a middle class Soviet family, Putin who also once compared ruling Russia to being a ‘galley slave’ reportedly lives a ‘king-size’ lifestyle with access to Presidential perks including four grand yachts, 20 homes with opulent fittings, 58 aircrafts with one Russian-made Ilyushin Presidential jet with a $75,000 toilet, not to forget Putin’s ultra-expensive watch collection worth $700,000.
“I have worked like a galley slave throughout these eight years, morning till night,” said President Putin to media in 2008. However, the $2.5 billion a year lifestyle unraveled in the report titled ‘The Life of Galley Slave’ by the opposition parties says otherwise.
Vladimir Putin's Homes & Palaces
This alleged Russian President has a total of 20 palatial residences, including the recent mysterious $950 million outlandish Italianate palace located on the Black Sea coast. Other palaces include Constantine Palace, a Czarist-era estate on the Gulf of Finland, a ski lodge in the Caucasus Mountains, and a Gothic revival palace in the Moscow region, to name a few.
Fleet of 58 Aircrafts
And, President Putin’s fleet of 58 aircrafts include 15 helicopters, along with 43 other aircrafts, including two Dassault Falcon executive jets, an Airbus, and an Ilyushin Il-96 airliner that features an $18-million cabin fitted out by jewelers from the monastery town of Sergiyev Posad, and a $75,000 toilet.
700 Ultra-luxurious vehicles
And, the President’s road commuting is handled by a fleet of some 700 ultra-luxurious vehicles, including some of the world’s most expensive cars.
Further, out of the four luxury yachts, one was a ‘gift’ from an affluent Russian billionaire, and the other 53.7-metre yacht comes with a designer interior, a spa pool, wine cellar and waterfall.
Notably, all of the photographs and figures in the much-talked about report comes from the public sources. However, this report doesn't mentions that many of the properties it lists as presidential residencies also serve money-making functions, when the President is not staying there.
Interestingly, the Russian public opinion has mixed views about this official corruption.