Moscow mayor is richest Russian official: report

25th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Moscow's controversial long-serving mayor has been dubbed Russia's richest state official, according to a new rating published Wednesday aimed at exposing the wealth of the political elite.

Yuri Luzhkov topped the list with a family income of 30.9 billion rubles (one billion dollars) last year, the Russian edition of Forbes magazine said, despite a relatively modest declared income in 2009 of 7.98 million rubles (259,000 dollars).

Luzhkov's wife, Yelena Baturina, heads a construction and real estate empire and is listed by Forbes as Russia's richest woman with earnings of 20.9 billion rubles (680 million dollars) in 2009.

A populist figure in a flat cap with a hobby of beekeeping, Luzhkov has led Moscow for 18 years.

Now 73, with his current term ending next year, he has faced a squall of criticism in recent weeks over his failure to return promptly from holiday to deal with the Russian wildfire crisis.

The Luzhkov family has a history of enmity with Forbes Russia -- Baturina's company won libel action against the magazine over a feature about how she acquired her wealth published in 2006.

The Forbes Russia rating, published in the September issue of the magazine, is the first to focus on civil servants, lawmakers, and the heads of state corporations.

President Dmitry Medvedev last year ordered officials to declare both their own incomes and property and those of their spouses in a new move to crack down on corruption.

The top 10 on the list include nine senators and members of parliament, all but two of whom are members of the ruling United Russia party.

At number two is senator Sergei Pugachev, the partner of British television presenter Alexandra Tolstoy, with a total family income of 3.0 billion rubles (97.7 million dollars).

Powerful Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, responsible for the economic sphere, is the wealthiest minister in the rating, with family earnings of 648 million rubles (21 million dollars).

Anatoly Chubais, the head of state nanotechnology corporation Rosnano and a hate figure for his role in 1990s reforms, rated 29th with a family income of 224.6 million rubles (7.2 million dollars).

Neither Medvedev nor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feature in the list.

© 2010 AFP

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