Russia’s Ruling Elite Owns Half of Luxury Moscow Neighborhood, Investigation Reveals

About half of the landowners in Rublyovka, a luxury suburb in Moscow, are linked to Russia’s ruling elite, news website Proekt has revealed in a massive investigation published last week.

800 Kremlin functionaries, governors and mayors own an estimated 1.3 trillion rubles ($20.75 billion) in properties dotting the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Highway in western Moscow, the investigative project found, adding that the sum represents almost two Moscow region budgets.

Landowners identified by Proekt include 600 “who are affiliated with the bureaucracy,” out of more than 4,000 real estate owners included in the investigation.

Among the more high-profile officials named in the report is President Vladimir Putin’s new prime minister and subject of recent media investigations, former tax chief Mikhail Mishustin. Proekt estimates the current value of the Mishustin family’s property at 455 million rubles ($7.2 million).

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reportedly owns land worth 266 million rubles ($4.2 million). His alleged property has previously featured in one of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny’s investigations.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is said to own a 215-million-ruble ($3.4 million) property in Rublyovka, according to Proekt.

Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, reportedly owns land valued at 66 million rubles.

Proekt notes that the properties’ current values far exceed the officials’ annual salaries.

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