Twenty years ago, Vladimir Putin would take power in Russia, first as Prime Minister and then as President. In 2024, when his current mandate ends, Putin will already have 25 years of “reign,” that is, more than half of the time Peter the Great was in power, for example. One of the figures who left a deep mark on everything that means the contemporary international scene, Vladimir Putin is, without a doubt, one of the outstanding personalities of the world in which we live.
What is Vladimir Putin’s net worth?
At the time this article s written, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has a net worth of $70 billion. He has earned a great but controversial international reputation during his political career.
Childhood and teenage years
Vladimir Putin was born on October 7, 1952, in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, as the only child of his family. His father, a decorated war veteran, was a worker in a metal processing plant. He died in August 1999, the week his son was appointed prime minister of Russia. Putin’s mother, a housewife who never worked outside her household, died a year and a half before this event.
Growing up in Leningrad, Putin lived with his parents in a communal apartment (a nationalized house), along with two other families. Even though religion was banned in the Soviet Union, his mother secretly baptized him as an Orthodox Christian. Thus, he always remained a practicing member of the church.
Although he was a small child of stature – and even today he is a short and thin man – Putin found his own justice among his schoolmates, thanks to the martial arts classes he attended.
He attended a prestigious high school, School 281, which accepted students with the highest grades. Although chemistry was Putin’s main subject of interest, he soon became interested in the liberal arts and biology.
Vladimir Putin worked at the school radio station where he played the music of the Beatles and other western bands. Although he used to go to parties, he was often considered more mature than others his age. Fascinated by spy movies, he aspired to become a KGB agent since his teenage years.
At Leningrad State University, Vladimir Putin was the school’s judo champion in 1974, and in 1975 he earned his law degree. Later he also completed a doctorate in economics. In some notes, it is written that he graduated with honors, in others that he was not among the top of the year, although he was a meticulous student.
Instead of pursuing law, Putin got a job at the KGB, the only one out of 100 students in his class. In 1984, he was chosen to attend the prestigious Red Banner Intelligence Institute, where he learned German and English in preparation for an international assignment, which he had longed for. In 1985, the KGB sent him to Dresden, in eastern Germany, where he lived undercover, under the name Mr. Adamov, director of the House of German-Soviet Friendship, a social and cultural club in Leipzig. Putin was apparently the type who liked to socialize with Germans, unlike other KGB agents, and respected the country’s disciplinary rules.
In 1990 Putin returned to Leningrad and joined the department of international affairs, pursuing foreign students. This was actually a cover job for his secret agent work. Not long after this, one of his former university professors, Anatoly Sobchak, who had become the first mayor of St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), asked him to join his administration.
In 1991, as the Soviet Union began to unravel from communist rule, Putin resigned from the KGB, holding the rank of colonel, and entered politics.
In 1999 he was appointed secretary of the Security Council, a body that advises the president on matters related to foreign policy, national security, the military, and law enforcement.
In August 1999, after Yeltsin had changed five prime ministers in 17 months, he appointed Putin to the post.
In December 1999, parliamentary elections were held in Russia. Putin’s United Party, formed just three months before, took second place, very close to the Communists.
Putin was not on the lists of parliamentary candidates, probably hoping for a better position, that of president, in the elections to be announced a year later. However, on New Year’s Eve, Yeltsin unexpectedly decided to step down as president, appointing Vladimir Putin as his successor. The date of the presidential election was moved to March.
During his 20 years in power, Vladimir Putin was elected president four times and had a term as prime minister under Dimitri Medvedev, during which he practically used a constitutional artifice to rule the country. Although the laws said something else, they still allowed him to run for a new mandate at that time.
Between 2000 and 2008, Russia’s economy grew by 72%. Later, the collapse of the oil price and the imposition of Western sanctions as a result of the annexation of Crimea and the military intervention in eastern Ukraine, caused the Russian economy to deteriorate.
The secret billion-dollar fortune
The annual presidential salary of Vladimir Putin is $187,000, according to official disclosure lists. He reported an income of $113,000 in 2012. Also, he claims to have a relatively low net worth that consists of $180,000 in a savings account, a 16,000-square-foot plot of land in the Moscow suburb, and a few Russian-made automobiles. His ex-wife, Lyudmila has control over bank accounts worth $260,000. Together, they have a total net worth of less than $500,000.
Many Russian experts and insiders believe that, during his reign, Vladimir Putin used his power to improve his life, but not the life of Russian citizens. It is supposed that Putin has used his power to create large secret ownership stakes at several multi-billion-dollar commodity companies, while many previously state-owned industries were privatized.
According to his critics, Putin used his power to buy a 50% stake in Swiss oil trader Guvnor, a 37% stake in oil company Surgutneftegas, and a 4.5% ownership stake in the natural gas producer Gazprom. Guvnor alone does more $80 billion per year in revenue, Surgutneftegas does more than $20 billion and Gasprom does more than $150 billion. Vladimir Putin’s combined ownership stake would bring him a personal net worth of $70 billion. This data is being gathered by using their most recent market capitalization.
Over time, informal photos of the Russian president have created an image of him both as an all-powerful leader and as a warm, loving, and sensitive man. The more shrouded in mystery, the more the press wanted access to information about the “tsar’s” private life.
In the early 1980s, Vladimir Putin met and married Lyudmila, a former French and English teacher. The marriage resulted in two daughters: Maria and Ecaterina. Maria Putin was born on April 28, 1985, in Leningrad, and Ekaterina Tikhonova a year later, on August 31, in Dresden, Germany.
Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila divorced after 31 years of marriage, and the reason would be the gymnast Alina Kabaeva, who was the Kremlin leader’s mistress for many years, according to Russian media. Alina Kabaeva would have given President Vladimir Putin 4 children so far.
According to foreign media, Alina Kabaeva, the alleged mistress who owns the impressive fortune of Vladimir Putin, is in Switzerland with the couple’s four children, two girls, and two boys. The luxury villa was reportedly turned into a veritable armchair by order of the Kremlin leader, which drew the ire of tens of thousands of people who called on the Swiss authorities to urgently expel them after Russia started the war against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, by order of Vladimir Putin.
Unusual details of Vladimir Putin’s life
Like any powerful man in the world, Putin lives with the fear that he could be poisoned. Thus, the Kremlin protocol forbids him to consume dairy foods as well as any other food other than those provided by the personal staff, which is very strictly controlled by the secret services. Putin is not allowed to eat food even if it is provided by other institutions of the Russian state. Also, during official visits abroad, all food to be consumed by the Russian president is strictly controlled by the security services.
Another detail in Putin’s life is related to the presidential aircraft. With a length of over 55 meters, the plane has a wingspan of 60 meters and can reach 900 kilometers per hour. It costs $465 million and it can be said that it is a real flying palace. Examples include the bedroom equipped with a huge bed, the gold-plated toilet, the fitness room, and the conference room.
For Putin’s travels, three planes always fly: in the first are the cars of the official column, while in the second are the members of the official staff. In the third plane is the president. People around him said that you can never be closer than 3 meters from Vladimir Putin and that there are no less than 10 bodyguards around him at any time.