Even in 2012, Putin's salary was no match for Barack Obama's: U.S presidents usually have a salary of about $400,000 a year, and Obama's estimated net worth was between $2.8 million and $11.8 million in 2010. But don't feel too sorry for Putin yet. Rumors of vast wealth have followed him for years, with one report in 2007 suggesting that he was worth $40 billion, and an even more outrageous one in 2012 that suggested he was worth $70 billion – that figure would almost certainly place him among the wealthiest people on Earth.
There's certainly a lot of circumstantial evidence that Putin has money stashed away – as Maeve McClenaghan of the Bureau of Investigation noted in 2012, to all appearances he seems to live a luxurious life of yachts, palaces and pricey watches. And declaring a low income is no doubt politically advantageous for the Russian leader: Corruption is widely seen as a big problem in Russia, and Putin himself directs campaigns against it.
The finances of world leaders have proven to be fascinating to the average reader, though rarely without controversy (a recent WorldViews post on the wealth of Nepali Prime Minister Sushil Koirala prompted a number of e-mails disputing Koirala's assets declaration). But do they actually matter? In the case of Russia at least, it's food for thought. Last month, when asked whether U.S. sanctions could target the Russian president, prominent sanctions supporter and fund manager Bill Browder told The Post "I don't see why not." After the last round of sanctions, the Kremlin was forced to deny any links between Putin and Bank Rossiya, the only company sanctioned.
Putin decided to show solidarity by moving his own salary to the bank, according to Russian media reports.