There’s no getting around the fact that Russian president Vladimir Putin is surrounded by controversy. Whether you believe all of the rumors that seem to follow the former KGB intelligence officer—from election interference to ordering the murder of a Russian spy—it’s difficult to deny that he’s considered a polarizing figure.
One of the most talked-about reasons behind this shady reputation is Putin’s wealth. Even for a head of state, he appears to be seriously loaded. What’s really wild, however, is how he uses all of that moolah. Here are just some of Putin’s most jaw-dropping possessions…
1. A golden toilet: Vladimir Putin has widely been accused of acquiring his wealth through unsavory means and using it to make purchases so absurd that they’re actually hilarious. Case in point: he allegedly owns a golden toilet worth $75,000!
2. Insanely expensive suits: Putin loves puttin’ on expensive suits; his favorites are those made by Italian menswear company Brioni, which has a long history with dressing powerful European men. All of his suits are estimated to be worth at least $5,000 each.
It’s safe to say that Putin won’t be shopping at Men’s Warehouse anytime soon. “The brand still bespeaks money, power and success having won a passionate following among CEOs, movie stars, and assorted world leaders,” wrote the financial publication Barron’s.
The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office / Wikimedia Commons
3. A $1 million watch collection: The Russian president’s annual salary is estimated to be about $112,000, but that hasn’t stopped him from allegedly buying watches that cost as much as $500,000 apiece.
Putin wouldn’t want anyone to accuse him of being greedy, however. After all, he has been known to gift children and other friends and family members watches worth around $15,000.
4. Mil Mi-8 Russian helicopters: Putin prefers flying in helicopters to driving in limos; he’s not just any ol’ rich guy, after all. His choppers—which are worth about $4 million—feature everything from massive televisions to mood lighting.
5. Sports cars: From Ferraris and Lamborghinis to vintage Bentleys, Putin’s quite the car collector; he owns about 700 of them. His preferred car for business is a $250,000 armored Mercedes S-Class…
Even if someone shot out the tires on this bad boy, Putin’s ride would still be able to travel 50 miles per hour for up to 20 miles. Allegedly, this cost $50 million of Russian taxpayer money.
6. A $35 million yacht: Putin allegedly owns four yachts, which are paid for by his own government. One of them, the Olympia, stretches a whopping 187 feet and was a gift by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
7. A $100 million yacht: If you thought the Olympia was excessive, try this monster. The only logical explanation for how Putin afforded it—which can house 12 guests and 14 crew members and includes the largest-ever pool on a yacht—was that he spent 600 years not spending a dime of his annual salary. Surely it didn’t come from other less savory means…
8. A $2 billion art collection: He may be visiting the Louvre Museum in this photo, but Putin’s own hoard of artistic masterpieces is perhaps worthy of being in a museum all its own.
Allegedly, during the Russian Revolution, priceless works by legends like Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt van Rijn were hidden from the Bolsheviks. Now, according to some, they’re guarded in a mysterious apartment building in downtown Moscow that belongs to Putin.
WikedKentaur / Wikimedia Commons
9. $1 billion worth of aircraft: Different sources report that Putin may have anywhere between 43 and 58 different aircraft. For comparison, the President of the United States only has one official plane and one helicopter!
10. A gold-plated and bejeweled plane: The Russian equivalent of Air Force One, the Ilyushin Il-96, supposedly received gold plating and was bejeweled for roughly $11 million. Fun fact: it was already worth $500 million!
11. Twenty different residences: Though Putin owns many homes, Villa Segren stands alone as the most extravagant. That’s no surprise since it was built for a czar, but this place does just so happen to have 50 acres of land surrounding it.
12. A mansion next to Rod Stewart: Putin reportedly purchased a 200,000-square-foot home with 10 bedrooms in a gated community in Marbella, Spain… right next to famed singer Rod Stewart!
Putin’s mansion is also located right next door to the Costa del Sol beaches, and it features a wonderful view of Gibraltar, a 22-car garage, a profitable vineyard, and even its own helipad!
13. A $1 billion palace: Housed on 185 acres near the southern coast of the Black Sea, this 17th-century estate is believed to be eight million square feet. It even features its own casino!
Earning the reputation (and nickname) of “Putin’s Palace,” Putin’s official residence also includes everything from a theater and multiple swimming pools to a church.
14. A huge stock portfolio: Putin also dabbles in the stock market. “Putin has investments in the huge commodities trader Gunvor and may have access to its funds,” explained the United States Treasury.
Say what you will about how Vladimir Putin earned his wealth, but he sure uses it in some interesting ways. He’s truly living like a king!
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