Vladimir Putin: Craziest Life Facts to Know

Some Of His Friends Made Billions

One of the most controversial aspects of his time in power is the fact that many people close to Putin—friends, family, or former judo partners—became ridiculously rich after some business dealings that we will generously describe as shady. While Putin’s rise to power is linked to some of the richest and most powerful Russian oligarchs at the time, the landscape of Russian billionaires has changed quite a lot during his presidency.

Many former oligarchs that stood up to Putin saw their fortunes diminish and some were even imprisoned on corruption charges. Now, it’s hard to know the true story behind the rise of the new Russian oligarchs, but politics and corruption definitely played a big part for some of them. And even if they might’ve made it without any help from Putin, it’s clear that staying on top requires them to support the most powerful man in Russia (and probably the world).