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Leonid Bershidsky

Vladimir Putin, the Richest Man on Earth

Questions about Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal wealth are beside the point. He doesn't need it.

If you've ever wondered about the size of Russian President Vladimir Putin's private fortune, allow me to offer a clue: He doesn't need one.

From time to time, Western journalists and bloggers speculate about whether Putin is one of the world's richest men or just its wealthiest political leader. Look up "Putin's personal fortune" on Google, and you'll find estimates of between $40 billion and $70 billion.