With $70Billion Vladimir Putin could secretly be the richest man on planet Earth
Vladimir Putin could be the richest man on planet Earth, secretly. Although many wealth estimates by various sources often point out at Bill Gates being the richest man on Earth, this time the trend has taken an unusual turn with the name of the Vladimir Putin popping up for the first time. Putin’s personal wealth, is often estimated to be anywhere between $40 billion to $70 billion. However, officially as the Russian President, he earns only $200,000 a year. Officially, that is.
Shadows of corruption have always haunted Putin’s reputation and this study is simply one of speculative voices that keep arising from time to time. Putin is estimated to have a watch collection that is worth over $700,000. In 2009, he reportedly gave away a $10,500 worth Blancpain to a Siberian boy he met he was on vacation there.
In 2007, Stanislav Belkovsky, a Russian political analyst claimed that Putin controlled 37% shares of an oil company Surgutneftegaz and 4.5% stakes of an energy company Gazprom. According to estimates, these investments combined, made him worth 40 billion dollars, in 2007 itself. More recently, this wealth has been estimated to rise to $70 billion, thanks to these stakes and his other wealth too, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. He is believed to have surpassed Bill Gates whose personal wealth is valued at $72 billion.
“He has the whole country at his beck and call,” Bershidsky elaborated. “It is enough for Putin to snap his fingers, and state-owned companies will cede assets to his friends at bargain-basement prices. A whisper from him and wealthy private businessmen will chip in for the lavish refurbishment of a presidential residence.”
Putin, of course, on various occasions, denied the claims of him being the wealthiest man on the planet. Interestingly, most of the media reports acknowledge Stanislav Belkovsky as a source for the numbers and do not provide any other sources to substantiate their claims. Belkovsky is a computer programmer turned political consultant. He is the author of several books about Putin. He has also written a satire featuring Russian political figures. Some groups within the Russian media often deny these claims and instead accuse Belkovsky of harbouring ill intentions towards Putin.
They claim that he works to damage the reputation of the Russian President with directions from Putin’s adversaries. Putin, however, has never topped the list of wealthiest people on the planet from official sources such a newspapers and websites.
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