The income declarations released by Russian Government and Kremlin officials revealed that the wives of the country’s state employees are passionate about luxury cars.
According to the income declarations that include apart from financial revenues, real estate, transport assets and land, the richest state official is Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Caucasus envoy Alexander Khloponin who earned over 484 million rubles (over $16 million) in 2011.
Khloponin and his wife, Natalya, also share a Bentley Arnage R car which price starts from 15 million rubles ($500,000). Natalya Khloponina also owns a Jaguar which is among the favorite cars of other influential women, including Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina and the stay-at-home wife of the First Deputy Prime Minster Igor Shuvalov, Olga.
Another luxury car brand admired by officials' wives is the Aston Martin, driven by the spouse of President Dmitry Medvedev's advisor, Mikhail Abyzov, who was ranked 76th in the 2011 Forbes rating of richest Russian businessmen.
The declarations revealed that the richest officials’ wives are Olga Shuvalova who earned almost 365 million rubles ($12 million) in 2011, the spouse of a Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov with an income of 125.2 million ($4 million) and Zoya Zubkova, the wife of a First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, with her 2011 income of 21 million rubles ($700,000).
In early December, 2011 Barron’s magazine published an investigation report blaming the Shuvalovs of carrying out fake loan schemes in favor of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
Shuvalov however has explained the unbelievably high income of his wife by the fact that she “was receiving dividends from investments” that he had put in a trust before taking up his government post.