In 2008 the reinstalled Russian President famously compared his life in office to a ‘galley slave’ during a press conference.But now a lavish list of luxuries at his disposal have been revealed by Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister turned Putin critic.Nemtsov estimated that the maintenance of Putin’s residences, jets and cars alone costs £1.6 billion a year. The 32 page document listed 58 planes and helicopters and 20 homes with opulent fittings worthy of the tsars, not to mention 11 watches which alone are worth several times Putin’s annual salary.
Published under the ironic title ‘The Life of a Galley Slave’, it denounced the lavish spending as an affront to millions of Russians living in dire poverty.‘One of the most serious reasons prompting V. Putin to hold on to power is the atmosphere of wealth and luxury to which he has become accustomed,’ wrote the authors. ‘One of the most serious reasons prompting V. Putin to hold on to power is the atmosphere of wealth and luxury to which he has become accustomed,’ wrote the authors.‘In a country where more than 20 million people barely make ends meet, the luxurious life of the president is a blatant and cynical challenge to society. We absolutely cannot put up with this.’ – Nation