Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a media conference on Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a media conference on Wednesday. Yuri Kochetkov

Putin's puttin' it away and Vlad the investor is worth $31b

THE combined wealth of Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle stands at nearly $A31 billion, a new investigation has claimed.

In 2016, Mr Putin's official income was reported at just $A172,000 and he has repeatedly denied he is one of the world's wealthiest men.

But a joint investigation by Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has valued him at considerably more, although it suggests his wealth may be tied up in a series of "proxies”.

Some of Mr Putin's inner ring have "no obvious explanation for their hidden wealth”, the report says.

"These proxies' wealth may be accounted for by the simplest explanation: it may really be Putin's money. But in Russia, nothing is simple,” the authors wrote.

One alleged "proxy” is Mikhail Shelomov, a relative of Mr Putin, who works at a Russian shipping company in a job that would usually pay about $11,000 a year.

Mr Shelomov is a major investor in a new race track near St Petersburg and has a personal wealth of $A744million according to OCCRP, as well as links to state energy giant Gazprom.

A childhood friend of the President, Pyotr Kolbin, a former butcher, has amassed a personal fortune of $A713million - despite telling the Russian press he is "not a businessman”.

William Browder, a US-born anti-Putin campaigner, told OCCRP that Mr Shelomov, Mr Kolbin and other cronies were "nominees” who formally owned assets while really holding them in trust for Mr Putin.

While Mr Kolbin has been sanctioned by the US, Mr Shelomov, who keeps such a low profile the OCCRP could not find any photograph of him, has so far escaped the penalties.

The investigation has not been widely reported in Russia, which is ranked 148 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index.



Dispersal a last resort for Livingstone Shire's flying foxes

premium_icon Dispersal a last resort for Livingstone Shire's flying foxes

Livingstone releases management statement for controversial animals

LETTERS: Politicians are being disloyal to this country

LETTERS: Politicians are being disloyal to this country

NWH Timms says politicians have created an immigration crisis.

CQ poised to reap the rewards of a boom in renewable energy

premium_icon CQ poised to reap the rewards of a boom in renewable energy

We can lead the way with the right plans and policies in place.

Local Partners