In Search of Putin's Money

In Search of Putin's Money

Ratings: 6.41/10 from 54 users.

In Search of Putin's MoneyVladimir Putin was elected to serve as Russia's president for another six years. To his supporters, such as those we encountered celebrating at an election night government rally in Moscow, Putin is a hero, the strong man who brought order to Russia after the chaos of the Yeltsin years.

They love his carefully cultivated image: the horse-riding, judo black-belted, stand-for-no-nonsense action man who has taken the country back to its rightful place on the world's stage.

But elsewhere in Moscow that night, under the watchful eye of state security and police, Putin's political opponents gathered to express their disapproval.

Disappointed by the result after enjoying a surprising late surge in the anti-Putin camp in the weeks before the poll, many of them said that his years at the top of Russian politics had seen the country's reputation become synonymous with cronyism and corruption, and that with Putin at the helm inner cliques have been allowed to run Russia for their own benefit and personal gain.

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50 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Konrad

    Have you ever done such a "documentary" on the Bush family???

  2. Fareed the brown bullshitter

    "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth."
    ~ G. Goebbels (Joseph Goebbels), Propaganda officer for Adolf Hitler

    Fareed Zakaria has been a Putin conspiracy theorist for a long time and has certainly furthered his career by doing so. He has not had any success in trying to make Putin look bad in public, so it makes sense that he would just devote more time to spreading stories about him in such a venue. Here is Fareed getting his comeuppance from Putin at an international conference.

    Getting back to your question, this CNN video is simply one more of his attempts to craft and control the image Westerners have of Putin, and of Russia. It starts with wildly inflammatory statements like Hillary Clinton saying “He was a KGB agent. By definition, he has no soul!” and then it repeats the same evidence-less claims still being used today, like “Putin is worth over $200 billion dollars.” These statements are mixed into a montage of military parades and Russian police manhandling protesters just to make sure that you get the point.

    Let’s just take those two examples.

    “He was a KGB agent. By definition, he has no soul!” Interesting point from the woman who cackled and laughed about killing Osama bin Laden and who was directly involved in pushing the operations leading up to the bloodbaths of Libya and Syria, which have killed at least a million people and created millions of refugees. Pretty soul-less stuff in my book, by the way. (But it works well visually in the video, especially if you are a typical “boob-toob” couch potato and have the critical thinking capacity of a gerbil.)

    First of all, his time in Dresden, East Germany was in a “local intelligence office” and there has never been any indication that he had a 007 type career there, or played the role of assassin certainly, because Dresden was a “backwater” and not a Geneva or Paris or Berlin. Secondly, he was there for 5 years and rose to be assistant to the director. That does not sound like the career path of someone who was always in the field. He most certainly had to be involved with field work, but it seems that that work was pretty routine spy stuff and mainly counter-intelligence like trying to “turn” CIA or German agents or steal technological data. Hardly ethical work, to be sure, but certainly not activities that require you to be soul-less. (This type of work is the CIA’s bread and butter, by the way, so glass houses and all of that.)

    He was however a real KGB agent, which is why Clinton’s comment plays so well. Take a tablespoon of truth, add assorted unsubstantiated claims and assertions, and then shake it, don’t stir.

    The fact is, no one but Putin and the KGB know what he was assigned to do during that time period. Let me repeat that, no one but Putin and the KGB know what his assignments were during that period. We do know however, that he got married and had the first of two daughters and that he and his family moved back to Russia after his 5 year posting in Dresden.

    “Putin is worth over $200 billion dollars.” Please see my answer to a previous question for a detailed examination of this claim. Doug Jackson's answer to Russian President Valdamir Putin is the richest, most powerful and has assets worth billions. What will happen to them when he dies?

    A brief summary of that answer is this: The claim that Putin is worth billions all goes back to an interview in Die Welt (a German paper) with a toady of the Russian oligarchy who claimed, but never presented any evidence for his claims, that he knew how much Putin was worth and he estimated it as “$40-$70 billion”. That’s it. One person claiming that he knew, but not a shred of evidence ever presented to back those claims. (*This is true for the claims about the Russians hacking the American election as well!)

    Thanks to the veracity and ethics in journalism today, that estimate has risen to $200 billion but still without any evidence and usually only the article in Die Welt mentioned as a source.

    Fareed’s career is going well, as is the career of any journalist or talking head today who expounds on this theme (Rachel Maddow; the willingness to tell lies for your career crosses all political lines.) and is willing to repeat those lies ad infinitum.

    The following quote is attributed to Goebbels, but I have seen other sources quoted too, and it sums up 90% of what is being said about Putin and Russia in western media today….

  3. Henriette Bauer

    In case that the rumours that are commented and spread worldwide are right and there is any hidden money, then it would be important to track that money down one day and give it back to the nation or its legal owners. There are rumours saying that the wealth of Putin could be an estimated 200 Billion US- Dollar.

  4. cabdi karim

    please stop putn's affairs

  5. Chomsky

    Documentary - Dictionary. com
    Also, doc·u·men·tal [dok-yuh-men-tl] Show IPA . pertaining to, consisting of, or derived from documents.
    Movies, Television. based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements.

    A scary fail on both accounts. So what is strange to me is that this "documentary" got made.
    Next documentary should be that Putin is actually Hitler and that Hitler is actually an alien. Yes,.... I even got a title for you.

    Alien Hitler Putin

  6. hell hole

    im quite surprised's the reporter isn't dead like Anna Politkovskaya

  7. killer316

    wiki leaks omg you made a documentry with nothing -just guess work and if he was the richest man in the world and if he did it by legit means then who cares... the point of his leadership was to put russia back on top and hes done that so why the guess is this is a propaganda movie for the party that cant get in to power
    and if he is proven to be just an average man then thumbs up mate nice job

    1. Alexandru Matei

      Take it or leave it, the documentary is about Putin's fortunes, has nothing to do with his leadership. Put Russia back on top of what?

      Someone should not allow KIDS to post comments on this site.

    2. jackscht

      On top of........the Russian Mafia.

  8. Damian Sidoruk

    By the way every organisation that starts with Al is CIA.. Aljazeera Alquaida, Al khavachi, and other scum organbisations .. you watching news every day , but you don't even know how Alquaida flag and logo looks like.. and what flags and logos are the so called free syrian army wearing?? What flags and logos were hang over all benghazi and tripoli after they raided gadaffi ?? And we still send our troops, to support Al-CIA-da in overthroving the goverment .. all of the rebels in syria are non syrian citisens, and most of them don't even speak the language.. Yet tehy call themselves Free Syrian Army with black alquaida flags all over the place and american weapons they try to overthrow goverment kill civilians and blame it on syrian goverments.. you see a video like this, think again coz it's designed to brainwash a lie in to ur brain.. Al jazeera is not worth watching. You want news, watch Young Turks if you want a laugh, and Russia Today if you want serious news and comments.

  9. Damian Sidoruk

    Dude Al Jazeera is now owned by the CIA and the CIA tell em what to tell the world .. all the videos that suposivly came from osama bin laden were aired on al jazeera and don't forget who bin laden really is .. his true nam is Tim Osman hired by the cia and long dead before the 9/11.. you don't belive it look it up :) .. Probably many of you still don't realise that Tim osman was working for the CIA and cia's job is to start covert wars and overthrow goverments, and nothing else. So who really is al jazeera osama bin laden and finally this movie. It's a CIA propaganda .. US goverment stole more money then anyone in the world, but somehow they blame putin!

    1. jackscht

      £50 Billion on the smaller winter Olympics in Sochi. London cost £9B and built the biggest park in Europe and thousands of new homes for families.

      Little Putin and his mates just stole more Billions off the Russian people. Mafia scum.

  10. Tolobajnr S. Lumumba

    Don't trust Al Jazeera.

    1. mrsthursday

      I've found that Al Jazeera are more trustworthy than CNN, I know that's not saying much, but the journalists ARE Al Jazeera; Professional, trustworthy and with excellent reputations. They don't flinch from wrongdoing on all sides of politics.

  11. Vladimir Bogdanov

    No doubt in my mind Mr. Putin could have all the money and power claimed in this video if not some more. The mentality of people like him is that he has to be on absolute top, the pinnacle of everything. He couldn't live by being 2nd in wealth nor power.


    love the castle, my only suggestion is to use sea water in the moat surrounding it, since sea water acts like a algaecide.

  13. Roger Gordon

    Russia is a Great nation and deserves better for sure. And Putin did made the stop after all to CIA practices in Russia. Finally The Phoenix is raising up from its ashes. Russia will be powerful as never before and will make the big difference in New World Order. No such on Pole rule will exist thanks to Russia. People need to understand that Russia is not aggressive nation. It was misled with people which created CIA. And believe me after Putin after his stabilization you will see new people but for now the situation is very hard and for that you need a hard man. When all speculators will be bashed away from the surface from our planet then it will happen. Remember that our planet is going into another paradigm and it will be very soon when we find peace in us all.

    1. Miss Vladimir Putka

      Russians scare me. Reminds me of Germany, circa 1936.

  14. Imightberiding

    This is an absolutely absurd & obviously biased, targeted attack on Putin. Come on people. Doesn't everyone know about the obscene wealth that the U.S. presidents as well as heads of state from almost all other nations have.

    This is so incredibly silly & a total waste of time. Of course he's wealthy. He's the bloody leader of a nation.

    It is common knowledge that the President's salary in the U.S. is a huge cut in regular reimbursements to the elected President at any given time. They are all multi millionaires & accustomed to earning millions annually, not a couple hundred thousand.

    $160 000.00 for watches is to me an unbelievable sum. To a wealthy millionaire it is nothing. Why is any one surprised to find out that the leader of one of the world's largest nations is extremely wealthy? Of course he is.

    I don't necessarily agree or support the notion of political leaders & wealth in congress but that's the way of our wonderful world. How much do the Presidential candidates spend campaigning just to get elected in the U.S. before they spend millions over the 4 years in office just to live & exist on a daily basis. This speaks nothing of political & financial connections that most certainly guarantee financial freedom for generations to follow that 4 year posting.

    As I said, I don't particularly agree with this amount of ridiculous wealth but it is a given with most other national leaders, so why the beat-down of Putin? He's rich. Who knew?

    1. Demon

      Dude have u ever been to Russia? its like 3d worled country. I am russian and i know that all said is true. No welfare , no jobs, prisons overflowed 10 people in 1 room 5x5 meters 4 beds and they take turns to sleep. And when they are asked why did you steal they all say i wanted to eat... In rusiia if you dont have connections (mafia like connections) you gonna be so poor. Think about it Russia has Evrything, Oil, Metal, Raw materials Very rich country... But life style of people is horrible. There is no middle class.. only 90% work to survive 10% very wealthy and live in moscow... You know Nothing...

  15. Pysmythe

    Greed is not good. And it is going to sink this world and EVERYONE in it, if something is not done about it. It is not the end-all, be-all; it is not the "reason we are here," in my view. It is NOT our morality: We are not on this planet "to make money". It is not about the accumulation of more material sh-t and power than the next guy, for the sake of THAT, and that if he should slip down and die, it is therefore no concern of ours. It's about GIVING A SH-T ABOUT THAT NEXT GUY, and trying to do what can and should be done to help raise him up to achieve his fullest potential, especially if his circumstances or his intellectual capacity should be less favorable than ours, even if only because that will be good for us, too, in the long run. AND... it is about helping to care for those who, for whatever reason, have great difficulty taking care of themselves: Children, the elderly, the mentally ill, etc. (I swear, I think many of the wealthy look on the accumulation of money as the accumulation of I.Q. points, and, of course, people being what they too often are, just about everyone wants to be the smartest guy in the room.)

    I mean... none of these are new ideas, right? Most everyone could agree with the gist of them in a civilized world. Even many of the wealthy... And yet, what do you see being done more and more? People who have accumulated what they have refusing to pay back into a system that afforded them the opportunity to make it in the first place. These tax-havens, loopholes, etc., have created very significant gaps in the finances of the economies concerned, and yet we hear very little, or nothing, about it in the media.

    I wonder why that is?

    [ Yeah, it's me. :) It's a "Rembrandt does Stalin as mugshot". ]

    1. dewflirt

      Started to write and then to rant and had to curb my tongue! I can't deal with greed, can't deal with selfishness at all. Grrrr! You know the Billie Holiday song, God Bless the child ? That will do for now, can't blame Putin for all the world's ills but I can quietly seethe over the many that are like him. A greedy man digs his own grave with his teeth ;)

      (Ahh, Rembrandt! Knew I'd seen you somewhere before! )

    2. Pysmythe

      I want to quote a comment for you I read over at Alternet yesterday, posted by a wise old man, and I really wish I could have thought of it myself:

      I always like to imagine how personality types that exist today fit into the societies 200,000 years ago in which they first evolved. This literally is the equivalant of the meanest and most aggresive member of a hunting party deciding that 99% of a kill belongs to him alone. And as a result everyone else in the village just starves to death, while the portion of the kill that he can't eat himself rots, doing no one any good at all.

      Isn't that just beautiful, and so apt? I might just add to it that what may have had its uses then certainly strikes me as psychopathic now. The world can't work this way anymore.

    3. Roger Gordon

      I just wonder if all you eat from plate is always all what is on it. It is just not worthy and correct analog to what is happening in politics. Of course they all are hungry as you would be on theirs place and I do wonder if you wouldn't be more hungry for more. All of this is irrelevant since this leader did most of all which have been there for over 300 years if not more. I do believe that AlJazera and the rest of so called official sources are just Zionist maniac hungry for their power The World Order so called. We the people will show them our Pitchforks and kick theirs asses when the time is right but for now the Zionist Oil bastards are to organized. Thanks to Internet paradigm the news isn't just official BS and people are waking up! So I do Call everyone who has common sense add your self to the people defending our freedoms!

  16. Roger Gordon

    Yeah Great let the infowar begin :D

  17. Roger Gordon

    I say just this. There wouldn't be anyone better for Russia then Putin! Period. What does Obama own?! What about wall-street?! Screw AlJazeera they are owned by US Zionists anyways.

    1. Miss Vladimir Putka

      Your arguments are uncommon yet thoughtful, intelligent and well reasoned. Thank you for your contribution to this debate!

  18. Dean Edgington

    Russians must wonder which god they have offened most. Under Tsarist rule they had it bad, under Communism they had it bad and now, under Putin they have it bad also. Poor fukers.

    1. Imightberiding

      In comparison to the rest of the world at the same time in history, the Russian people did not have it that bad in historical context until the Bolshevik Revolution & ultimately communism paralyzed the nation for several generations.

      They are poor "fukers" as you stated. Mostly held back now by insane inflation & mass criminal activity but at the very least have some chances to succeed & escape their lot's more than they had in the past.

  19. alans

    I don't have a problem with Putin. Cant the guy have horses, yachts and caviar for his work?

  20. Robert Elliot

    Despite mountains of hot, steaming propaganda to the contrary, Putin is immensely popular with the Russian people because he actually represents their interests, as opposed to the interests of a handful of super-rich psychopaths as is the case in virtually every Western country. Don't you think it's time we the people demanded a leader like Vladimir Putin?

    1. WTC7

      I wouldn't go as far as to say that we the people should demand a leader like him. He may be intelligent and may even have the best interest of Russia in terms of its position on the global political stage in mind but I sincerely doubt he has the simple Russian citizen at the core of his thinking and acting. It looks more like he is revamping an earlier "empire" now dressed in different clothes - supposedly democratic. Scratch the surface of that image a bit and you will see a picture that may not be neat at all. The little game of switching roles with Medvedev, supposed to give an illusion of democracy, is a little bit too transparent. He has placed his cronies in most important political and economic positions in the country and controls just about everything.

      Russia's economic expansion, under his control, has inevitably brought some advances to the everyday life of many Russians, but that doesn't make him a desired leader, the advances were simply a natural consequence of this expansion, not his benevolent leadership. Also, be aware of the fact that the Russian people lived under communist dictatorship for almost a century, before that under the czarist, also dictatorial, regime. These people have developed a mentality that requires a leader, who is not to be questioned (I hope I will not be misunderstood here, I could describe people of my own country as such). I doubt his popularity can be assessed in real terms in such an environment.

      Just as a side note, I am of Slavic decent and grew up with the notion of "the big mother Russia", I couldn't deny that even today I feel some sort of romantic, irrational connection with that idea. But romanticizing something won't change the crude, soulless, political reality of the world.

    2. Russ Tul

      WTC7, reading your comments, my impression is that you, as a person of Slavic descent, are a decent person (:-). (So am I by the way). But one very important fact cannot be emphasised enough. Russia has a long history of being attacked by foreign would-be conquerors. And in my opinion, history is likely to repeat itself as the world's resources are dwindling while Russia's share of the world's resources is growing relative to the population. Russia, being in no position to improve its infrastructure anywhere close to a level needed to effectively exploit and defend its resources, is deemed to be easy prey by many. So its bloated size and geographic structure are its fundamental weakness. Ergo, less would be better for Russia - contraction rather than expansion would be the solution to Russia's geopolitical problems. But it would probably be difficult to convince the average Russian of this fact, which seems counterintuitive.

  21. oQ

    The simple word *trust* is dying, trust is on it's deathbed plugged with money iv that will not save it. That we know!

    By the way Trust is also synonyme with cartel, business, corporation, institution, group, multinational organization, syndicate, pool, megacorp, monopoly.Those are quite healthy, or is that wealthy?

    Why, how, where, who...that we don't know and quite possibly never will before it gets worse.

    1. lakhotason

      The Russians do trust their leaders to be corrupt. To make a documentary exposing corruption in a Russian leader is akin to making a documentary exposing that the sun rises in the East.

      Just as the sun has always risen in the East so it is with Russian leaders that they are always corrupt. It's the national character.

    2. Imightberiding

      ...& that is why the "Russians" executed a very well known, politically important, dare I say "Royal" family, children & all not so long ago.

      You are absolutely right. The Russians love, expect & support their leaders in being corrupt. Why on earth would they ever want or support a decent trusting leader or political party that may actually advance their lives on a wholesale level when they can instead live in abject fear,poverty & no hope of advancement in their miserable daily struggle to eek out a sub normal existence?

      I have read & more than not agreed with your comments regarding many docs over the past year or two. I have to say that you are being somewhat ingenuous if not outright stereotypical & biased towards a population of people who have been through more than either you or I could ever imagine when it comes to hardship & perseverance.

      Come on my friend, do you honestly believe that they want, expect & desire corruption in their leadership? I would suggest no one would.
      True, there is a history of much corruption in Russia but that does not a docile & expectant people make.

      Please, no hard feelings. I did mention earlier in my reply to you that I have followed your comments for some time & mostly agreed with your statements. Perhaps I misread your comment & went off on a tangent. Forgive me if I misunderstood your intentions.


    3. lakhotason

      Back in the day when it was required to have two years of language to get into college my language was Russian. This started my infatuation with the Russian people. Remember this was the time of the Soviet Union. I simply had a hard time understanding why such a people could tolerate such a cruel and corrupt government. That is until I began to read Tolstoy. To understand the Russian people look no further than Tolstoy. That's about all I can tell you without going on and on. Essentially Russia was and is a peasantry and a ruling class. And that ruling class believes and the peasantry believes that God and the church has assigned each to a station in life. As a result corruption by the ruling class is accepted as a God given right. Of course this is a very simplified explanation but it basically illuminates the psyche of the Russian people.

      If you wish to read Tolstoy you will also need to understand French for French and not Russian was the language of the ruling class. This illustrates the gulf between the classes.

    4. alans

      If you're looking for answers that you want to find, then you'll find them, but it doesn't mean that you've found the truth.

    5. lakhotason

      How would you know.

    6. alans

      Read what I wrote again.

  22. David Ewer

    I'm sure Putin is everything this film suggests and more. The rich elites in all nations do the same - they offshore their ill-gotten gains.

    1. Pysmythe

      To the tune, worldwide, of at least 21 trillion so far.

      edit- Excuse me, make that 32 trillion...

      edit- Uhh, make that...... etc., etc.

      ( Not anything to get bent out of shape about, though, right? I mean, what could the possible harm be? )

    2. dewflirt

      It's hard to think in trillions when you're living from one pay day to the next. Could you imagine walking into the supermarket and not caring how much a block of cheese costs, not having to prioritise your spending? When you know there are people that have to choose between heating and eating it makes you feel a bit sick to see his collection of wristwatches! :)
      P.S, liked the turtle but your face (?) is good too :)

    3. Pysmythe

      You have a post from me below. For some reason, it wouldn't send it to you, even though I clicked 'reply'... *shrugs*

  23. lakhotason

    Corruption? In Mother Russia? I am shocked! Shocked I tell you!

  24. Rolands

    Isn't Mr. Putin doing the same stuff all the most worlds country leaders do? Steel the wealth of their country? There were major problems in voting a new president and you can find documentary videos about that on youtube (where 1 person drops 10 voting tickets e.g. and other all caught on tape).
    I have no problem in believing that he is supper rich.
    Have to say that I dont like Al Jazeera because it feels in pocket of USA which i dont trust as much as to Russia (same box different piece of cookie).

  25. dewflirt

    Liked the credits, Giacometti meets Escher :) Think I might have seen this before, or are they just going over old ground? He's rich, powerful and corrupt, shocking! Russia has a delicious history of fairy tales, maybe Putin is just creating his own. Not much different from any other country, say one thing and do another. They just care less about hiding it all, More brazen. I kind of like brazen. Funny little character. Is he married? I like horses and yachts..... ;)

  26. emp12345

    I wouldn't trust Al Jazeeera any more as I would trust Putin. In fact, I would trust Putin instead of Al Jazeera. Al jazeera are buddies of the USA. And can you trust the USA? Noooooo way!

  27. Glen Hale

    Got the right surname Putin in his pocket , like Made off with others millions.