Support The Moscow Times!

Senators Declare Incomes for First Time

Senator Sergei Pugachyov out-earned all lawmakers in the Federation Council and State Duma last year. Grishkin

Senator Sergei Pugachyov out-earned all lawmakers in the Federation Council and State Duma last year with a declared income of just over 3 billion rubles ($99 million), while fellow billionaire Senator Suleiman Kerimov earned just a quarter of a million dollars, according to newly released income declarations.

More than 500 State Duma Deputies and Federation Council Senators published their income declarations late last week, giving the first comprehensive overview of the wealth of the country’s lawmakers.

While Duma deputies released declarations in the run-up to elections in December 2007, this was the first time that senators have revealed their incomes. The information confirms the upper house of parliament’s reputation as a haven for billionaires, but some members of the lower house also stand out.

Pugachyov, a Kremlin-connected banker who represents the remote Siberian Tuva republic, declared an income of 3 billion rubles plus an apartment and nonresidential premises. For his wife, he declared 4.2 million rubles ($140,000) plus an apartment.

Pugachyov's wealth was estimated at $1.2 billion by Britain's Sunday Times in its annual rich list last month, which was released amid reports that he planned to marry London television producer Countess Alexandra Tolstoy.


Yet according to the declaration, neither he, nor his wife, owns a car or any other property. Media reports say Pugachyov lives separately from his wife, Galina, with whom he has two grown sons.


Pugachyov's declared assets were no match for Amir Gallyamov, a senator for the impoverished Amur region in the Far East. Together with his wife, he owns 13 cars, including a Bentley Continental, three Mercedes Benzes, a Porsche, a Ferrari, a Maserati and three Toyota Land Cruisers. They also own a BMW motorcycle and a snowmobile.

Accordingly, the Gallyamovs need a lot of parking space — their declaration lists five garages and 10 spaces in parking lots.

The couple also own two houses and nine large apartments, ranging in size from 75 to 218 square meters.
Yet Gallyamov said he earned just over 2.7 million rubles ($88,000) last year, while his wife earned 11.5 million rubles ($380,000).


Vitaly Malkin, a former billionaire banker who represents the far eastern republic of Buryatia, said he earned more than 70 million rubles ($2.3 million) and owns a plot of land, a house, three apartments, two BMWs and a personal watercraft.


Malkin's wife earned 9.8 million rubles ($324,000) and declared three plots of land, including one in Italy; two houses, including one in Italy; two apartments; nonresidential premises and three cars, including a Lexus and a Mercedes Benz.
Canada's National Post reported last June that Malkin owned 111 condominiums in Toronto, but the senator declared no assets in Canada.


The Federation Council’s richest member, according to Forbes magazine, is Suleiman Kerimov, with an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion. The secretive Kremlin-connected businessman represents his native Dagestan, one of the country’s poorest regions.

Kerimov said he earned just 7.4 million rubles ($245,000), and his wife collected 646,156 rubles ($21,000). He declared a humble 54-square meter apartment, co-ownership of another apartment, sized only 39 square meters, and about 500 square meters in nonresidential premises.

Kerimov made headlines in 2006 when he crashed a Ferrari in Nice, France, and his income declaration indicates that he still has enthusiasm for fast cars. In addition to three large Mercedes cars and a BMW, he owns a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport, one of the world’s most exclusive sports cars with a maximum speed of more than 400 kilometers per hour and a price tag of more than 1.5 million euros ($2 million).

In contrast, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov presented himself modestly. Mironov, who represents St. Petersburg, said he earned 2.5 million rubles ($200,000) and owns a tiny 32-square-meter apartment, a trailer and an all-terrain vehicle.

But his wife, who earned only 727,000 rubles ($24,000), owns three apartments with a combined size of 424 square meters.

Some of the figures are likely to raise eyebrows because many of the country’s wealthiest people take considerable steps to avoid being portrayed as elitists who live on yachts or in European mansions instead of staying and working in Russia.

The declarations could also fuel suspicion against absentee lawmakers who take full advantage of job perks, like immunity from prosecution, but spend little time legislating.

The income declarations are part of an effort by President Dmitry Medvedev to crack down on government corruption by requiring officials and their families to disclose their annual earnings and some assets. But critics say the requirements are flawed because they include only spouses and underage children and do not indicate any sources of revenue. 
The lawmakers’ "lawyers have worked well, and the declarations may have nothing in common with their real revenues," Alexei Mukhin, an analyst with the Center for Political Information, told The Moscow Times.

In the Duma, the richest deputies appeared to be affiliated with the ruling United Russia party.

Leonid Simanovsky, deputy head of the Energy Committee, made the most money, with 1.18 billion rubles ($40 million). The United Russia deputy served as vice president of Yukos from 1996 to 2001 and is a Novatek shareholder. He owns two plots of land, two houses and a Mercedes Benz S500.

Simanovsky's wife, who earned 11 million rubles ($364,000), owns two apartments and two cars, a Lexus GS300 and Mercedes Benz ML350.

United Russia Deputy Vladimir Gruzdev, a founder of the Sedmoi Kontinent supermarket chain, was the wealthiest lawmaker according to the 2007 declarations, but this year he ranked second with 936.7 million rubles ($31 million). He and his wife have the largest family income, however, with his wife's 692.5 million rubles ($23 million).

Speaker Boris Gryzlov, who heads the United Russia faction, declared an income of 16 million rubles ($530,216). He also owns an apartment of 274 square meters, a dacha and two garages with one Mazda car.

Chechen Deputy Adam Delimkhanov, a cousin of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov who is on an international wanted list in connection with the killing of a former Chechen commander in Dubai last year, earned only 2 million rubles ($66,150), the amount equal to a deputy's salary for one year. He has three houses, an apartment and a plot of land. Delimkhanov is one of the few deputies who owns a Russian-made car, a VAZ-2107, in addition to an Opel Senator.

Deputy Alina Kabayeva, the former Olympic gymnast, declared an income of 12.9 million rubles ($427,000), three apartments of 43 to 122 square meters, a 7,169-square-meter plot of land, and a Porsche Cayenne and a Mercedes Benz.

Deputy Alexander Karelin, a former Olympic wrestling champion, earned 2.8 million rubles ($92,600), plus a similar amount from his wife, and he declared a large car park of nine vehicles: five Mercedes Benzes, a Toyota Land Cruiser, a Mini Cooper, a Volga and a Tigr military off-roader, Russia's answer to the U.S. armed forces' Humvee. Karelin also rides a Yamaha and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Deputy Yevgeny Medvedev, who said he earned 1.9 million rubles ($62,850), declared formidable real estate holdings, including nine large plots of construction land, three houses and 11 dacha plots, many sized more than 2,000 square meters. Medvedev also declared two Bentleys, a Mercedes and a BMW limousine for himself and his wife, for whom he declared zero income.

Notably absent from the declarations list was United Russia Deputy and legendary crooner Iosif Kobzon.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, said he earned 2.48 million rubles ($82,000) and owns an apartment of 436 square meters. His wife had an income of 9 million rubles ($300,000), owns five apartment buildings, eight apartments, eight dachas, about two dozen plots of land, two nonresidential spaces and five cars.

Zhirinovsky recently came under fire from United Russia deputies in the Duma for driving a Maybach, but he did not list the German luxury car on his declaration.

Igor Lebedev, Zhirinovsky's son and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party faction, declared an income of 178.76 million rubles ($6 million). He has

four apartments, ranging from 324 to 329 square meters, and four cars: a Mercedes S350 4M, a Mercedes S500 4M, a BMW X5 and a BMW 650i.

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov declared an income of 2.76 million rubles ($91,000). Together with his wife, they own an apartment of 167.4 square meters and rent a dacha of about 114 square meters, but own no cars. His wife earned about 102,000 rubles ($3,400) last year.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more