Vladimir Putin wants to convince you that he is a lowly civil servant with low wealth and a fairly modest government salary. According to his most recent financial disclosure, Putin’s primary assets are about $ 200, some Russian-made automobiles and a 16,000-square-foot land savings account in the Moscow suburbs. He has declared his net worth to be less than $ 250,000. His official salary as President of Russia is approximately $ 187,000 per year. And while that salary is much lower than their global presidential counterparts, it is nearly 7 times higher than the average Russian household income.
With this humble financial portfolio in mind, you might be surprised to learn that Vladimir Putin is an alleged owner of a 1906-square-foot mansion on a cliff above the Black Sea. A secret palace is located on 170 acres. Reputed as the largest private residence in Russia, the property includes a 27,000-square-foot guest house, amphitheater, professional-caliber ice hockey rink, a Vegas-style casino, nightclub with stripper pole and an underground view to the water There is a tasting room. Classical music properties ring around the clock in Vineyards. Bathrooms have $ 850 Italian toilet brushes and $ 1,250 toilet paper holders.
Worth this incredible castle?
$ 1.4 billion
There have been whispers, intrigues and rumors about this palace for more than a decade. A 2014 Reuters investigation breaks it down into amazing detail, which is worth your time, but I’ll touch on the key points here:
In 2010 a senior Kremlin official named Sergei Kolesnikov wrote an open letter to the then President Dmitry Medvedev titled “Stop the Corruption”. Sergei complained in the letter that the government funds of millions of dollars spent in government equipment were actually converted into a construction project code called “Project South”. Kollennikov alleged that Project South was a plan run by a couple of Putin to build a private palace for their presidential beneficiary that was so grand that it would blush the Saudi Kings.
According to Kollennikov, the person overseeing the project was Nikolay Shamalov. For most of his adult life, Shalmov worked as a humble dentist in St. Petersburg. In the early 1990s, he quit curing teeth and became a mid-level government employee. From 1993 to 1995 he served on the External Relations Committee of the Mayor of St. Petersburg. His boss in this work?
After Putin moved to Moscow to become president, Shamalov quit his mid-level government job to work for German medical device supplier Siemens Medical Systems. He was employed by Siemens as a medical device sales representative until 2008.
The way Shalmov somehow managed to get a 10% ownership stake in a regional bank is called Bank Rosia. Not bad for the man who was filling cavities a decade ago.
Putin became the President of Russia in 2000. By pure luck, around that time Bank Rosia decided to expand rapidly and soon became one of the largest banks in Moscow. As of 2010, Shalmov had a 10% stake in the bank at $ 500 million. Funny how that happens!
Another fun fact – Nikolay Shalmov’s son Kirill was married to a woman named Katerina Tikhonova from 2013 to 2018. Katerina’s father is …
As a wedding gift, Kirill was allegedly allowed to pay $ 100 for a $ 380 million stake in a chemical company. Funny how that happens!
Kirill was soon given an equity stake in a small bank, named … you guessed it … Bank Rosia. By 2016, Kirill Shamlov, the banker’s son from a humble dentist, had earned $ 1.2 billion in assets. He was 34 at the time. Unfortunately, when he divorces Putin’s daughter, Kirill is stripped of half her fortune after allegedly being caught in a squabble. it could be worse! I am surprised that he did not snatch half his skull from a killer bullet.
But we digest. Let’s return to Putin’s palace.
So, how does one secretly build a $ 1.4 billion palace? The alleged plan was actually quite simple. According to alleged whistle blower Sergei Kolesnikov, who now lives in exile at an undisclosed location away from Russia:
- After visiting a group of hospitals and being disappointed with the equipment they saw, Putin ordered that all Russian hospitals be upgraded with the best medical equipment that money could buy, no expense! The money to buy the equipment would come from a mix of Russian taxpayer dollars and “donations” from elites such as Roman Abramovich, who were not destined for Putin.
- Putin engaged two old friends to purchase advanced medical equipment for hospitals.
- One of the friends is Nikolay Shamalav, a former dentist / medical device salesman who was a banking tycoon.
- Shamalov arranges to buy tons of medical equipment … you guessed it … Siemens medical equipment through a front company.
- After the purchase of the equipment, the front company allegedly sells the equipment back, selling it two or three times the amount. The proceeds are then used to build a secret palace, which saves public money and is used to build a palace.
Really really simple? Almost shameless
For the record, after the drone video we’re going to show you went viral earlier this week (75 million views as of this writing), a Putin spokesman told CNN:
“it is not true. There is no palace, he does not own any palace. They are all rumors and there were some disputes between the owners of those complexes, but they do not really have any relationship with President Putin.“
Let’s get the drone video already!
Okay so earlier this week, activists working with Putin’s biggest political adversary, Alexei Navalny, uploaded a two-hour video to YouTube, which was originally a big part of Putin’s personal wealth. The two-hour video included the first drone footage of Putin’s palace.
You must have heard about Alexei. The boy is hospitalized in August 2020 after being poisoned with a nerve agent during a flight. He had to be evacuated medically in Berlin and spend a month in a hospital. Alexei returned to Moscow for the first time after his release from hospital a week ago and was immediately arrested.
Navalni says in the YouTube video:
“It is like a state within a state where there is an unlawful Caesar Rule. It is designed in such a way that no one can reach it by land, sea or air, there is a ban on bringing an ordinary cell phone with a camera to thousands of people working there … but we have a look inside Will put“
I think I understood it properly. If not jump straight to the 29-minute mark for a castle drone video:
The entire video is subtitled and engaging. They know in great detail how Putin funds his lavish lifestyle in general. Below is how he allegedly bought a yacht and a mansion for a mistress.
Contrary to Putin’s personal valuation of $ 250,000 for his net worth, it has been alleged that he is one of the richest people on the planet with assets of hundreds of billions.