The Russian president bought his lover a property empire worth $178 million through a slush fund, say investigators from a news site.
Vladimir Putin is believed to have boosted his £1 billion (A$1.78 billion) property empire with a new £200 million (A$356.6 million) palace – amid reports he is secretly one of the richest men in the world.
The imposing pile has been built in a highly-secure “billionaire’s village” on the outskirts of Moscow and is surrounded in total secrecy, reports Russian newspaper Sobesednik.
Russia’s hardman leader is reported to be worth £160 billion (A$285 billion) and is said to live like a king on his extraordinary wealth.
His critics claim he has amassed a huge personal fortune and owns a fleet of yachts, cars and secret presidential palaces.
Putin always talks down his wealth – claiming to enjoy a relatively modest state wage of around £100,000 (A$178,000)
However, experts say he is really 60 times richer than US President Donald Trump.
Political critic Boris Nemtsov compiled a dossier that alleged Putin even has four yachts secretly docked around Russia.
He also claimed Putin has 43 planes, 7000 cars and 15 helicopters – including an Illyshin jet with a £50,000 (A$89,000) gold toilet.
Nemtsov added Russia’s leader even has a watch collection worth some £500,000 (A$891,500) – including one that is £300,000 (A$535,000) alone.
Putin’s “secret girlfriends” also have more than a few rubles in the bank, say reports.
Svetlana Krivonogikh – said to be the mother of Vlad’s lovechild – is a cleaner-turned-millionaire who owns a popular nightspot.
And his “gymnast lover” is earning millions a year as a pro-Kremlin media boss, according to reports of leaked tax records.
Former Olympic gold medallist Alina Kabaeva is said to pocket a salary of £7.78 million (A$13.9 million), claimed a recent expose.
Putin’s “latest home” measures 123,785 square feet (37.7km) – which is nearly double the size of Buckingham Palace.
The “classical style” palace was owned by a company called Property-V during its construction, with the newspaper suggesting the ‘V’ stands for Vladimir.
The report concludes that the sprawling estate must belong to an important individual with only the highest Kremlin connections.
The sumptuous residence is listed as belonging to the Russian Federation, which the report claims is a “cover” used by “owners of palaces and penthouses associated with the country’s leadership”.
The report suggests the property is either Putin’s or belongs to someone exceptionally close to him.
So far there has been no response from Putin’s spokesman to the Sobesednik claims, the latest in a series of “revelations” on his wealth, health and private life in recent weeks.
The reports have led to suggestions the Russian leader is under an unprecedented “information attack” from foes.
The recently completed palace is at Greenfield village, which offers “a new standard of country life” with “impeccable style of elite suburban life and the independence of serene nature”, according to publicity blurb.
It comprises “stately residences, reminiscent of country castles”, and is home to a number of billionaires.
The village boasts “beautiful parks and boulevards 24 metres wide … fountains, sculptures, flower beds” and is surrounded by “vast forests”.
Before the palace’s construction was complete the village was said to house the “most expensive house in Russia”, owned by Jordanian billionaire.
The new palace may be worth some £202 million (A$360.2 million), reports the newspaper.
Andrey Ertman, representative of the company which was constructing the palace, refused to name the owner “hiding under the pseudonym ‘Russian Federation’”, said the newspaper.
“This is confidential information. Buyers of such assets do not always strive for publicity. This is their right,” he explained.
Companies tied to the new palace and its financing are closely linked to the Russian elite and other stunning properties, it is claimed.
Multiple properties have been linked to Putin in recent years – with some saying he now owns homes worth more than a £1 billion (A$1.78 billion).
One is a gigantic £800 million (A$1.4 billion) Black Sea pile called the Gelendzhik Palace complete with helicopter landing pads and its own vineyard.
Originally conceived as a modest holiday house with a swimming pool, it now boasts a magnificent columned facade reminiscent of the country palaces Russian tsars built in the 18th Century.
The massive wrought-iron gates into the courtyard are topped with a golden imperial eagle.
Outside are formal gardens, a private theatre, a landing pad with bays for three helicopters, and accommodation for security guards.
In 2017, it was also reported Putin had bought himself a lavish holiday home with gold-plated tiles in the swimming pool just a few miles from Russia’s border with the West.
Villa Sellgren is built on an island in the Vyborg Bay, around 19km from the Russian border with Finland.
Officially it belongs to close friends of the Kremlin but locals say it is the latest prestige home in a stunning property portfolio rumoured to be Putin’s.
He is also said to own a dacha close to St Petersburg, and an Altai Mountains retreat officially belonging to Gazprom as well as apartments in Moscow.
Dictator Putin lining his pockets at the expense of the Russian people who can barely buy bread
Another official residence is located in the Novgorod Region, and goes by three different names: Valdai, Uzhyn, and Dolgie Borody.
The residence was initially planned as one of Stalin’s dachas, but he thought it too dangerous.
In the 1930s the residence was the only building on a small peninsula and was surrounded by dense forest, with only one escape route to the mainland.