How much is Vladimir Putin worth? Almost no one knows for sure

However the impression of these sanctions could also be largely symbolic. Though Putin is believed to carry billions of {dollars} in private wealth, little is understood concerning the actual quantity or the place it could be.

Putin has left nearly no paper path for his property — principally property — that are hidden behind complicated monetary schemes organized by his confidantes, in line with a 2016 “Panama Papers” report by the Worldwide Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Among the many luxuries which have been linked to Putin’s family and friends, however by no means on to him, are a $100 million mega-yacht and a Black Sea palace allegedly constructed for Putin’s private use.

On paper, the Russian chief seems like a humble bureaucrat. In 2018, Putin submitted an official revenue declaration that exhibits he owns an 800-square-foot house in St. Petersburg, together with two Soviet-era vehicles and an off-road truck. The Kremlin says his annual revenue is about $140,000 — not an conceited determine in Russia, although hardly one that might hold Putin sporting his rotation of luxurious watches.

“Putin’s seen watch assortment is value multiples of his official wage,” Invoice Browder, an investor in Russia who grew to become a fierce critic of Putin, told CNN in 2018. “The wealth got here because of extortion and big theft from state funds.”

$200 billion estimate

Browder testified earlier than the US Senate in 2017 that he estimates the Russian chief’s wealth to hover round $200 billion in property, which might make him among the many wealthiest folks on the planet.

One principle of Putin’s wealth means that he has strongarmed Russia’s oligarchs, threatening them with arrest or worse until they fork over money or stakes of their firms to him.

Nonetheless, monitoring his wealth has confirmed subsequent to not possible. Forbes magazine, which counts sleuthing the private fortunes of the world’s elite as a part of its core mission, stated determining Putin’s internet value is “in all probability essentially the most elusive riddle in wealth looking.”

However simply because most people does not have a great sense of the place Putin’s property are hiding, “we are able to assume that US and EU intelligence companies and legislation enforcement companies have been monitoring his property for years,” stated Ross S. Delston, an anti-money-laundering knowledgeable.

“If the US authorities, together with the EU, have been to get severe about going after his property, there’d be quite a lot of targets to hit,” Delston says. “They’d be everywhere in the world … definitely throughout the bounds of the EU and the US.”

However would freezing Putin’s property deter him from persevering with the assault on Ukraine? Virtually definitely not.

“We’re not speaking about stopping something,” Delston says. “We’re speaking about punishing him.”

Which is not to say the sanctions are toothless. They could make solely a dent in Putin’s whole fortune, however they do undermine his credibility on the world stage.

In stressing how uncommon it’s for america to personally goal a head of state with sanctions, the US Treasury Division stated Friday that “President Putin joins a really small group that features despots resembling Kim Jong Un, Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Bashar al-Assad.”

Additional, Delston stated, the precise sting of the sanctions will not be painless for Putin.

“Excessive internet value folks are inclined to get hooked up to their property, regardless that they’ve a lot in reserve.”

— CNN’s Ivana Kottasová contributed to this text.

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