President Vladimir Putin’s $200 billion fortune

How is it that someone who has worked for the government for most of his life has amassed a $200 billion fortune.

Questions over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal wealth comes as US President Joe Biden revealed plans to impose new sanctions on two breakaway regions in Ukraine.

The Biden administration just announced that it will sanction Putin personally. The EU and UK have already directly sanctioned Putin and foreign minister Sergey Lavror, which includes a freeze on their assets in those countries.

When it comes to directly hitting Putin’s assets, his holdings are infamously shadowy and disperse, and his actual fortune may be entangled with a whole slew of associates and wealthy Russians.

In January, imprisoned Russian activist Alexei Navalny, released a video that purportedly shows the $1.4 billion palace on Russia’s Black Sea belonging to Putin. Navalny’s allies released hundreds of images of what they claimed are the inside of Putin’s secret palace. Russia’s media regulator reportedly told at least 10 news outlet to remove articles on the alleged palace. Navalny, who was poisoned with a nerve agent in August 2020, is in a prison outside Moscow and faces more charges.

Putin has denied claims about his wealth. Speaking on his behalf, the Kremlin has previously called billion dollar estimates of Putin’s wealth as “pure fiction that doesn’t even warrant a response.”

So how rich is Vladimir Putin? Honestly, it’s so hard to say definitively. There is clearly a lot of smoke coming from the $200 billion fortune camp.

It would almost be easier to take Putin’s denials seriously if he admitted to having a smaller fortune, like $100 million. He would be more credible if he just came out and said “Yes I have an ill-gotten $100 million fortune, but all this talk of $200 billion is nonsense.” It would be more believable.

Maybe we will never know, but we do know he is extremely wealthy for a public servant.