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Vladimir Putin ‘galley slave’ lifestyle: palaces, planes and a $75,000 toilet

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 29, 2012

Critics’ report lists perks of being Russian president, including access to nearly two dozen official homes

  •  in Moscow
    Vladimir Putin surveys the scene from the back of a boat in Karelia, north-west Russia. A new report says the Russian president has overseen a phenomenal expansion in the awarding of presidential perks. Photograph: RIA Novosti/Reuters

    Vladimir Putin surveys the scene from the back of a boat in Karelia, north-west Russia. A new report says the Russian president has overseen a phenomenal expansion in the awarding of presidential perks. Photograph: RIA Novosti/Reuters

To hear Vladimir Putin tell it, he works like a “galley slave”, pouring blood, sweat and tears into toiling for the Russian people with little personal gain in return.

Yet according to a new report by some of his harshest critics, Putin may be the richest “slave” in the world, reaping official perks as the powerful leader of a country with a long history of enriching its omnipotent tsars.

Watches in white gold, yachts decked out in the plushest of drapery and at least one flying toilet worth $75,000 (£47,000) are among the presidential perks detailed by Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister turned Putin critic, and his co-author Leonid Martynyuk, a member of the opposition Solidarity movement, in a report released on Tuesday.

“Putin has led Russia for more than 12 years,” the authors write. “Losing popularity, Putin is maniacally clinging to power. It’s clear why.” It’s not just the “fear of losing his freedom, capital and property” or the influence of his inner circle, who have grown fantastically rich under his rule, they say. “One of the most serious reasons that forces Putin to hold on to power is the atmosphere of wealth and luxury to which he has become accustomed and which he does not want to give up.” Read the rest of this entry »

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