An investigative report conducted by Russian-Latvian newsgroup Meduza and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) unveiled a network of companies and non-profit organizations worth over $4.5 billion in luxury assets that are potentially linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin consciously tries to cultivate an image of self-denying patriotism among the Russian public. However, such an image could not have been further from the truth. For years, journalists and anti-corruption watchdogs have tried to piece together evidence and leaks that point to the Russian dictator’s enormous wealth.
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The Russian president has been linked to several luxury properties across Russia, including a supposed billion-dollar palace estate along the Black Sea, acres of surrounding vineyards, the Igora Ski Resort, and Villa Sellgren located north of St. Petersburg. However, time and again, Putin avoided direct relation to the properties.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny claimed a palace worth $1 billion was built for Putin’s personal use. However, during the investigation of the estate on the Black Sea, Putin’s billionaire friend and former judo sparring partner, Arkady Rotenberg, claimed ownership of the property.
Vineyards surrounding the estate, which Navalny claimed resulted from an excessive hobby of the Russian president, were split between two other associates: a son of one of his childhood buddies and Russian oligarch Gennady Timchenko.
Another property, the villa in St. Petersburg, known to the locals as “Putin’s Dacha,” was claimed by Sergey Rudnov, whose late father, Oleg Rudnov, was a former close associate of Putin.