Medvedev and Putin`s Assets Laid Bare

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earns 11 percent more than his boss, President Dmitry Medvedev, according to asset declarations released on Monday under a Kremlin anti-graft drive.

Medvedev, who ordered the disclosures, is technically the most powerful man in Russia, but observers have long claimed that former president Putin is really in charge. 

In 2008 Putin earned 4.6 million rouble ($137,700), 11 percent more than the 4.14 million roubles ($124,000) declared by Medvedev, statement’s posted on their respective web sites showed.

Both men earn over 18 times Russia’s average wage of 230,000 roubles per year.

Medvedev has the larger apartment, a 368-square-metre Moscow residence that dwarves Putin’s 77-square-metre flat in Saint Petersburg, the declarations showed. But both men spend most of their time in their palatial state residences.

The declarations did not give a value estimate for the property holdings.

Average second-hand Moscow apartment prices of over $5,600 per square metre quoted by the IRN.ru real estate portal would indicate Medvedev’s apartment might sell for more than $2 million.

Average second-hand apartments in Saint Petersburg cost about $2,900 per square metre, IRN.ru said, indicating a 77 square meter apartment in the city might fetch in the region of $200,000.

Putin also owns a garage, two classic cars, a trailer and a 1,500 square metre plot of land, his declaration said. He also has share holdings with a nominal value of 230,000 roubles.

Medvedev and his wife have bank deposits worth just under 3 million roubles and 4,700 square metres of land. His wife has two car parking spaces and a Volkswagen Golf.

The declarations were the first under a new anti-corruption law introduced by Medvedev in December that requires senior officials to make annual declarations of their family income and property.

Corruption is a way of life for many Russians at every level of society — from small bribes paid to traffic policemen or schools to kickbacks paid to senior officials who hold sway over Russia’s vast natural resources.

Successive Kremlin leaders have tried, unsuccessfully, to stamp it out.

Opposition figures have ridiculed earlier declarations of Putin’s wealth, suggesting he has vast secret share holdings, a claim he has denied.

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