Vladimir Putin is one of the most controversial heads of state in the entire world. Putin, originally the Prime Minister of Russia, served as the President from 2000 to 2008 and was reelected to the position in May 2012. Like other leaders around the globe, people love to hate Putin and often criticize his leadership tactics. In fact, even his elections have been the source of controversy with rumors of unethical voting and potential rigging. In addition to these allegations, the leader of Russia is widely criticized for his frivolous spending.
While Russia’s economy struggles, Putin’s spending grows exponentially. Born into a poor family, Putin joined the KGB as a spy before retiring to pursue a career in politics. Working his way up the political ladder, Putin was elected to President after a decade. His election was steeped in controversy of shady dealings and unethical practices. Like the election, his leadership has followed suit.
Russia’s state department claims that Putin’s net worth is approximately $150,000. However, this is a far cry compared to other estimations that range from $70 billion to $200 billion. That’s right, billion. Although widely criticized for it, Putin is living like a king among a failing economy. Here are eight ways that Putin lives the high life in Russia. Let’s start with his favorite way to keep track of time.
A nice watch is one of the many luxuries that a lot of us can’t afford, but we don’t really need one since our cell phones also tell time. When you have a ton of money, though, watches are one of the first things that you want to flaunt your wealth. Putin owns the most expensive watch collection out of any head of state that we could find.
It’s reported that Barack Obama and Francois Hollande, the President of France, both have watches that are valued at under $200. Putin, however, has an entire collection of watches that are valued at nearly three quarters of a million dollars. The most expensive piece in Putin’s watch collection is the Lange & Sohne watch that is covered in crystal glass and features gold arms, which is valued at half a million dollars. Supposedly, the watch alone is about five years’ worth of salary for Putin.
Most of us would be happy if we could own a yacht in our lifetime. For Vladimir Putin, just one isn’t enough. The leader of Russia has a fleet of four yachts strategically placed around his country, just in case he wants to throw a fancy party out on the water or feels like trolling the coast to make sure the people of Russia are behaving themselves.
Reportedly, one of the yachts that Putin received was a gift from one of the richest people in Russia, which we can assume had a reverse favor tied into it. Putin’s most notable yacht is over 175 feet long and costs around $37 million. This mega yacht has a professionally designed interior, a wine cellar filled with the most exquisite wines, and a pool that features a waterfall.
Vladimir Putin has always had a love for cars. It is rumored that Putin’s first car was a gift from his mother who won it in a lottery when he was in his third year of college. After growing up without transportation, Putin has more than made up for it as the most powerful man in Russia. How many cars does he own? The latest total of his personal fleet is around 700 vehicles, which is 699 more cars than a person truly needs.
Putin even has Formula 1 cars at his disposal, but he says that his favorite types of cars are those made in Russia. Since Russia doesn’t really have a long history of producing luxury vehicles, we assume his statement was only to make him appear to be more patriotic. The most expensive car in Putin’s garage is a 3.5 ton limousine that, thanks to a long list of security features, is impossible to blow up even with a rocket.
On rare occassion, even the average person might take a private flight, usually for their honeymoon or to celebrate a huge bonus at work. Private flights, however, are now an everyday thing for Vladimir Putin. Despite having a primary Presidential jet, it is far from enough for Putin’s extravagance. In fact, Putin prefers to have a plane of any size available to him at the drop of a hat.
The total count for Putin’s airplanes is now 43, and it’s estimated that they cost a total of $1 billion. We are still at a loss as to why the Presidential jet is not sufficient, since its interior is filled with gold and was designed by master artisans to appeal specifically to Putin’s interests. Regardless, Putin spends whatever and however he wants.
We already mentioned Putin’s extravagant fleet of airplanes, but a key feature on one of his planes is a $75,000 toilet. Although we are not certain what makes the toilet so expensive, for that price it better play music, massage your back, and give you a shoe shine.
The toilet perhaps gives us the biggest glimpse into Putin’s outrageous spending habits and why he has come under fire over recent years. Money is literally being flushed down the toilet in Russia. How exactly has the world learned of the extremity of Putin’s spending? Boris Nemtsov, the former Russian Prime Minister, retired from his post and shared juicy details of Putin’s splurges and how he benefits from having such power.
All of the houses are top of the line and include just about any luxury you can imagine. The most impressive house in the collection is “Putin’s Palace”, an Italianate architectural structure that sits in Gelendzhik and is estimated to be worth $1 billion. The project was kept as a big secret and the media was blocked off from entering the construction area. When you are as criticized as Putin, you wouldn’t want people asking questions about your new palace, either.
Did you really believe that 43 airplanes were enough to get through the skies of Russia? While it’s more than enough to the rest of Russia and the world, don’t let Vladimir Putin hear it. All of the helicopters in Putin’s fleet are armed to the teeth in case anyone tries to harm him.
Putin’s extensively armed fleet is not quite as ridiculous as you might think. Putin is far from the only head of state to spend a fortune on helicopters for himself. Even Barack Obama has a fleet of helicopters that are believed to be worth $20 billion, so Putin is actually a little behind the American President in that regard. Still, Putin’s helicopter fleet seems entirely unnecessary when you consider how many airplanes and cars he has. The most impressive helicopter in the fleet is the Mi-8 that has been fully customized for Vladimir Putin’s safety and comfort.
When you think of a true king, you usually think back to the medieval times. Back then, kings were subject to being poisoned by someone who wanted to overthrow them to take their place and position of power. Putin definitely thinks of himself as a king in that regard, as he has somebody on his staff test his meals to ensure that they are not lethal. While it is a position that no one should ever need, Vladimir Putin hired someone to do it on a full-time basis.
If you feel that you are hated enough to possibly be poisoned through food, then you might want to reconsider what you have been doing with your time. That’s not enough to stop Putin, though, as someone nibbles away at his meal in hopes that they will live to see the next day.