Voice of America: Putin’s palaces, yachts, cars and watches

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Sept. 17, 2012, 6:34 p.m. |

Wearing a mask of Russian President Vladimir Putin, an opposition activist takes part an anti-Putin protest in central in Moscow, on Sept. 15. The protester's makeshift scale model of a deltaplane is a reference to Putin's recent flight with Siberian cranes in a motorized deltaplane. The poster reads: "Abandon all hope, you who follow me in the sky! Thousands marched today through Moscow to protest against the rule of Vladimir Putin in a test of the opposition's challenge to the Russian president four months after his inauguration. "AFP PHOTO / ANDREY SMIRNO

 “I have worked like a galley slave throughout these eight years, morning till night.” Vladimir Putin summing up his first two terms as president to Russian and foreign Press. Feb. 2008.

It’s a nice image for voters at election time.

No galley slaves below decks here. Teak and fine woods were used by French designer Jean Guy Vergès for the interior of the 54 meter yacht Sirius bought last year by Russia’s Presidential Administration. The Sirius is one of four yachts owned by the Administration, a fleet dominated by the 57 meter Olympia.

But below decks on the Sirius, a 54-meter yacht, Russia’s president is not chained to an oar. Instead, he can enjoy the designer interior, listening to a cascading waterfall, chill out in a spa pool, and enjoy a rare vintage from onboard wine cellar.

The Sirius is one of four yachts and part of an explosion of perks that now underpin President Putin’s extravagant lifestyle, according to a new opposition pamphlet, “Life of A Galley Slave.”

 Read more here.

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