But the OCCRP’s discovery of the luxury villa in France also raised questions about how Lyudmila or her new husband could afford such a lavish property. Artur Ocheretny is the director of a nonprofit organization, the Center for the Development of Interpersonal Communications, which is best known for being closely linked to Lyudmila. …The OCCRP notes that Russian NGO directors do not generally receive high salaries, and none of Ocheretny’s business ventures appear to be a success.
Lyudmila is not officially wealthy, either. Until her divorce, she was required by law to declare her assets and income, and she never declared much. In fact, Vladimir Putin’s own wealth declarations are similarly sparse, with a $147,000 salary and limited assets, including a Moscow apartment, a plot of land and three cars, listed on his 2015 statement.
There has long been speculation, however, that Putin and those close to him are significantly wealthier than they let on. Some estimates for the Russian president’s personal wealth go as high as $200 billion, though they are backed by sparse evidence. A 2016 leak of records from a law firm based in Panama did suggest that associates known to be close to Putin held as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts.
…Reuters reported in 2015 that Katerina Tikhonova, widely said to be the younger of Putin’s two daughters, owned a seaside villa in Biarritz that was worth about $3.7 million at the time. She and her husband, Kirill Shamalov, the son of a friend of the Russian president, together were worth around $2 billion, the news agency reported.