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Leonid Bershidsky

Putin's a Pauper, His Friends Are Rich

He needs his cronies as much as they need him.
A man with friends.

A man with friends.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Recent reports by two consortia of investigative journalists purport to have exposed the dealings and offshore accounts of some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest associates. They don't name him as a beneficiary of any account, suggesting that Putin is as poor as a church mouse -- or would be if he ever lost power.

The investigations were published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, respectively. The first names St. Petersburg businessman Grigory Bayevskiy as someone who provided valuable real estate to, among others, Katerina Tikhonova, reportedly Putin's daughter. The Kremlin has neither confirmed nor denied that connection when asked about the reports.