During his stay in power, Putin has created an empire worth of $ 130 billion, writes the British The Sunday Times
and the Czech Lidové noviny
. The later rated the so-called "clan of Putin" to be at the top in the ranking of the wealthiest families in the world.
The wealth of Putin and his associates is greater than $ 130 billion, that is $ 56 billion of assets more than the money possessed by the official leader in the Forbes ranking, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helou - owner of communications industry worth of 74 billion dollars.
Apart from stolen "personal assets" of $ 130 billion, Putin also controls hundreds of billions of dollars in public companies.
Companies that are the property of the "clan" do not belong to the state and Putin's vote is decisive in all administrative as well as financial matters.
The newspaper notes that throughout his tenure Putin managed to create a financial empire which is governed by most of his relatives and friends. Part the family business are: nephews Michael Putin and Michael Solomon, his wife Lyudmila Putin, his brother Igor, etc.
One of the reason for Putin's decision to get himself re-elected as president was his desire to ensure security of the money he had stolen, the newspaper writes.
Lidové Noviny reminds in this regard that the market value of Gazprom is $ 150 billion.
The main core of Putin's clan are not just relatives but cronies of the St. Petersburg judo and martial arts club
and small company The Lake
owned by brothers Arkady and Boris Roterberg. The Lake
is a company of small cottage owners at the shore of a lake in Russia where Putin first met most of his future cronies.
These gangster-brothers are associated with other judoka and "up-and-coming" businessman Alexander Karmanovs. The leader of Putin's judo club used to be the present thief-in-chief Gennady Timchenko, owner of construction, transportation and liquor businesses.
Amongst the members of Putin's clan there are such bandits as Yury Kovalchuk and Nikolai Shamal, the owners of financial group Bank of Russia
, Russia's minister of railway transport, Vladimir Yakunin (also a neighbour in The Lake
) and the education minister Arkady Fursenko.
An opposition figure Andrey Illarionov said to "The New York Times" that Putin began to build his personal empire of thieves few months after he had bulldozed his way to power in 2000.
At the beginning, Putin created vodka business, a consortium in trading alcohol.
The New York Times
called Putin's business empire The Russian Corporation
. It lasted 3-4 years. During this time, Putin suppressed the previous ruling clan, a so-called "Yeltsin family". Among the most influential leaders of the previous clan of thieves were Alexander Voloshin, Mikhail Kasyanov )now an opposition leader) and Anatoly Chubais. At the same time, Putin filled in senior government positions with his trusted KGB pals.
"It is hard to imagine the power and money that will be in the possession of this conglomerate in foreseeable future. Therefore, it is striking that the facts about Putin's methods leave the majority of citizens indifferent to what is happening", concludes the article in Lidové Noviny
This information in a highly censored form was also printed in Moscow for Russian cattle-like "liberal intelligentsia" by Noyaya Gazeta-
the mouthpiece of ex- KGB General, anti-Putinist, conman and thief Mr. Lebedev who is also the owner of several newspapers in Britain.
First of all, Lebedev censored the names and references to Putin's associates from among the cronies and accomplices, published only the names of Putin's criminal relatives (they were a common knowledge, anyway).
Independent observers say that this is due to the fact that after the removal of Putin from power, if that ever happens, his cronies and pals will retain all stolen money. The money would be confiscated only from his relatives.
Department of Monitoring