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Vladimir Putin Lives High Life in a Series of State Mansions

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Taking the reigns as Russia's latest thinly veiled autocrat has its perks, as President Vladimir Putin has well found out. According to recent reports, Putin's luxury lifestyle includes access to 15 helicopters and 43 fixed-wing aircraft, like the Ilyushin Il-96 airliner outfitted with an $18M customized interior and $75K toilet. The Russian president has been spotted wearing more than $700K in pricey watches and he enjoys unlimited use of a veritable fleet of yachts, including "a five-decked yacht with a Jacuzzi, barbecue, a maple wood colonnade and a huge bathroom faced in marble." Commuting is handled by a fleet of some 700 vehicles. Meanwhile, Putin has a declared income of just $115K, meaning the government must be picking up the tab, which runs to, wait for it, $2.5B per year. Part of that cash goes to maintaining some unreal properties for personal use, like a 2,300-acre estate on Lake Valdai, a massive mansion on the outskirts of Moscow, two properties on the Baltic Sea, a couple of villas on the Volga River, and a ski lodge nestled in a mountainous nature preserve. This all for a man who frequently refers to himself as "your humble servant."
· Vladimir Putin Has a $75,000 Toilet [The Atlantic Wire]
· "Galley slave" Putin savors yachts, planes, palaces, critics say [Reuters]