How Putin amassed a $200 billion fortune on palaces, planes and yachts

The gigantic estate on the shores of the Black Sea known as Putin’s Palace, whose construction would have cost more than 1,000 million dollars

Officially, the Russian president Vladimir Putin win some $140,000 a year and owns a small apartment, according to his public financial statements.

But that wouldn’t explain the “Putin’s Palace”an imposing estate on the Black Sea whose cost is estimated at more than 1,000 million dollars, and other goods used by the Russian leader, such as a millionaire yacht, private planes and luxury watches.

No one knows exactly how many assets the Kremlin chief has, but various estimates have put his immense fortune at 200,000 million dollars.

Theories about the origin of Putin’s wealth

The rise of putin The rise to power began in the early 1990s. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was in the throes of a severe economic crisis, and the government desperately needed money. Putin, then head of the state intelligence service KGBparticipated in the privatization of state assets.

Putin's wealth
Former President Boris Yeltsin gestures as he and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, attend a state holiday reception at the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, June 12, 2002. (AP/)

Under President Putin and a series of economic advisers they sold these assets to a small group of businessmen for a fraction of their real value and subsequently awarded them state contracts, creating a class of Russian oligarchs whose wealth skyrocketed while ordinary Russian citizens struggled.

Putin and his cronies not only took kickbacks from these sales, but actually cut a deal with the oligarchs as godfather: riches in exchange for loyalty and, ultimately, subservience. Those who rebelled against this treatment, such as the oligarch Mikhail KhodorkovskyThey ended up in jail.

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Another scenario is that Putin’s fortune comes from help your close circle of friends and family to enrich themselves by awarding them government contracts or company ownership. In return, says this theory, he receives cash bribes or company shares. In a way, it sounds like a mafia structure.

Last year, an investigation by the Russian-Latvian news organization Meduza and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) found that a total of 86 different companiesapparently unrelated to each other and operating in different industries, communicated under a single email domain hosted by an IT company.

Putin's wealth
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Sergei Pugachev, a former Russian banker who co-founded the International Industrial Bank of Russia in the 1990s. Pugachev said of Putin: “Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation, Putin considers his own …. he is the richest person in the world until he leaves power.” (AP /)

The company was linked to rossiya bank – described by the US Treasury as “the personal bank of the top officials of the Russian Federation” – whose shareholders are a collective of friends and associates of Putin and even one of his supposed lovers.

Another possibility is that Putin does not need money since, as the former Russian banker once said Sergey Pugachev “Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation, Putin considers his own.”

“Any attempt to calculate [su patrimonio neto] will not succeed. She is the richest person in the world until she leaves power,” she said.

Putin’s assets: palaces

Putin is believed to have access to dozens of private residences in Russia and all over the world, but two palaces in particular show their enormous wealth, according to the Daily Mail, who collected the assets of the Russian president.

One of the palace is a gigantic spa and wellness center located on the banks of the valdai lake, in the north of Russia. The complex is supposedly property in part of the Kremlin and part of a company called Primebelonging to billionaire Yuri Kovalchuka close friend of Putin.

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The gigantic multi-billion pound spa and wellness center situated on the shores of Lake Valdai in northern Russia (Navalny).

Hidden in the forest next to the crystal clear waters of Valdai, it has a three-storey spa complex with a “personal beauty salon” for the strongman, according to an investigation by the jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and your team.

Two underground floors house a cryogenic chamber for extreme cold therapy and a mud bath. The spa also has massage bathsa swimming pool surrounded by jacuzzis and cold baths, saunas, a Turkish bath and a Thai massage podium.

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The palace on Lake Valdai (Proekt)

residence includes several bedrooms and a living room of 500 square meters, according to the revelation of Navalny and the Russian independent media projectalong with a fully equipped dental and cosmetology office.

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One of the halls of the palace (Proekt)
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The residence includes several bedrooms (Proekt)
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Halls of the Valdai residence

There are other properties as well, including several guest houses, spread across the gigantic grounds on which the Valdai palace sits.

The other palacean immense mansion in the Black Sea whose dimensions dwarf those of Buckingham Palace, is protected by thousands of acres of land owned by the Russian security service FSBwith no-fly and no-sea zones protecting you from prying eyes.

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This image taken from video posted by the Navalny Life YouTube channel on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, shows a drone view of the estate in Russia’s Black Sea. (Navalny Life youtube channel via AP)

It is believed that the gelendzhik palacewhose construction was financed by various Putin allies, including Igor Sechin -head of Russian oil giant Rosneft- and billionaire tycoon Gennady Timchenkohas a casino, an underground skating rink and a entertainment room with striptease poles.

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One of the palace rooms
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The roofs of the palace on the Black Sea
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In the photos released by Navalny’s team, you can see a large room with high ceilings.
Putin's riches
Alexei Navalny’s team have released an image that they say shows a pole dance hall inside Vladimir Putin’s supposed Black Sea palace.
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A picture of the facade of the Gelendzhik Palace.
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The leisure hall with striptease bars of the palace

They built a Leisure port, sports port and helipads to facilitate the President’s access, and the palace also has other services, such as a cocktail bar and a gym and spa fully equipped.

Amid the controversy sparked by Navalny, the oligarch Arkady Rotenberg denied in 2021 that the palace belonged to Putin and claimed to be the owner of the sprawling property situated on top of a cliff.

Rotenberg is Putin’s former judo sparring partner and perhaps his best friend since childhood.

Arkady Rotenberg and Putin judo
Arkady Rotenberg and Putin

Planes, yachts and cars

Putin is rumored to be a car fanaticin addition to planes and yachts.

In 2014 he was “gifted” the Scheherazadea superyacht valued at 700 million dollars, one of the largest and most luxurious in the world, and it is just one of the impressive vessels that you have at your disposal.

The incredible ship was nominally owned by the former president of Rosneft and KGB officer Eduard Khudainatov.

The Scheherazade is valued at $700 million.

But a report from Dossier Center -a non-profit research organization created by the exiled Russian oligarch and opponent of Putin Mikhail Khodorkovsky– states that a total of USD 500 million was transferred from five offshore companies to finance the construction of the ship.

Captained by the British Guy Bennett-Piercethe superyacht was seized last year in an Italian port as part of the sanctions imposed by the EU and the United States on Putin and his oligarchs for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The ship was seized last year in an Italian port as part of the sanctions imposed by the EU and the United States on Putin and his oligarchs for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  (REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini)
The ship was seized last year in an Italian port as part of the sanctions imposed by the EU and the United States on Putin and his oligarchs for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini) (JENNIFER LORENZINI/)

The yacht is rumored to be a favorite of his alleged lover, Olympic gymnast Alina Kabaeva.

It has six decks, nine luxury cabins, two helipads and space for 40 crew members.. Like Putin’s palaces on land, the Scheherazade is equipped with a pool and spa complex, and its interior is lined with gold, rich wood, and fine fabrics.

One of the ship's lounges
One of the ship’s lounges
The yacht has nine luxury cabins
The yacht has nine luxury cabins
There is space for 40 crew
There is space for 40 crew


For flights, the Russian president usually requisitions military aircraftsbut also has specific presidential jets.

Putin has at his disposal four Russian IL-96-300PU jumbo jetsall of them replete with communications technology and radar interference.

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Putin has four Russian IL-96-300PU jumbo jets at his disposal (Getty Images /)

Although the exterior of the aircraft is largely the same as the standard model, apart from the elongated fuselage and patriotic paint, the cabins are lavishly decorated with tapestries and golden details.

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Putin is photographed aboard one of his private presidential jets in 2017

The furniture and interior decoration are of neoclassical style and each plane is equipped with a spacious office and a huge conference table surrounded by elegant cream leather seats.

Planes even have gold-plated toilet seats.

designer clothes

The high-flying lifestyle of putin It is also reflected in the clothes you wear on a daily basis. In March of last year, the president addressed the huge stadium Moscow Luzhniki to deliver a speech to rally support for his invasion of Ukraine.

In that act, he wore a jacket by the Italian designer Piana Parrot of the cost of more than $12,000, more than double Russia’s median annual salary in 2021. She also wore a $2,900 cream turtleneck from the Italian brand Kiton.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia on March 18, 2022. Sputnik/Ramil Sitdikov/Kremlin via REUTERS
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia on March 18, 2022. Sputnik/Ramil Sitdikov/Kremlin via REUTERS (SPUTNIK /)

According to Russia Beyond -a state media that tries to share and promote Russian culture-, Putin’s favorite clothing brand is Brionithe Italian tailor famous for dressing Bond, while his shoes are from the English brand John Lobb or the Italian Salvatore Ferragamo.

The outlet also reported that Putin has a personal tailor who customizes each of his costumes, each of which is worth more than $4,000.

It is also known that the President has a soft spot for luxury watches.

One of his regular watches, visible in countless photographs and videos of the despot, is the Blancpain Aqualunga sleek black steel model that costs $10,000.

But he has also been seen with a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronographvalued at around 60,000 euros, and is believed to have a coveted Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite” from the german watchmaker Alange-Soehne.

Only 50 of these sapphire, alligator skin and platinum watches were ever made. One of them is currently listed at a French auction for $520,000.

Keep reading:

How much is Putin’s immense, mysterious and hidden fortune?

Why tracking Putin’s wealth is so difficult

“The mafia model” and two other theories of how Vladimir Putin would have amassed his fortune