Russia´s lifetime president and dictator Vladimir Putin has according to the Moscow Times spoken about the great gap in his country between the super rich and the poor:
President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia's rich-poor divide is unacceptably wide and promised renewed efforts to decrease the gap in earnings.
"In our country, there remains an inexcusably large discrepancy in incomes," Putin told a meeting of the State Council, an advisory body to the president, Interfax reported.
"Unfortunately, 13 percent [of the population], or roughly 18 million people, still live below the poverty line," Putin said, without specifying the income level used to calculate the metric.
Maybe Putin could begin to close the income gap by selling part of his large watch collection - which includes such tresures as e.g. a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar, valued at $60,000. and an A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph, valued at half a million dollars - and donating the money to his less successful compatriots?
Life without the Patek Philippes and the Tourbographs would not make a huge dent in the former second rate KGB spy´s comfortable "investment portfolio". Stanislav Belkovsky, a Russian analyst, has stated that the Russian businessman, politician and current president of Russia, could be worth around $70 billion. Putin is reported to have major shares in three oil and gas companies; Gunvor (oil trader), 75%, Urgutneftegas (oil supplier), 37% and Gazprom: 4.5%.
This afternoon there was one comment to the article in the Moscow Times, which pretty much says the truth about Putin:
I doubt Putin is serious about closing the wealth gap. The people getting rich in Russia would not be getting rich without his support. He has been ruling the country for 12 years or so, and many of the social and economic problems in Russia only keep getting worse. His most important accomplishment in Russia has been to slide the country back to dictatorship.