Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing officials sent to the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, as well as members of the Russian military sent to occupy Ukraine, to be exempted from declaring their annual incomes.
Another one of Putin’s recently signed orders ruled that officials will receive a lump sum payment of 3 million roubles (close to $40,000) for being posted to Ukraine. In case of their deaths, their families will be paid 5 million roubles (approximately $67,500) each.
Russian officials working in Ukraine’s occupied regions were not burdened with declaring their incomes prior to Putin’s December 2022 decree. In particular, the former prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (“DPR”), and now a member of the Russian State Duma, Alexander Borodai, declared zero roubles of income in 2020. The apparent lack of income did not prevent him from owning luxury real estate in Dubai and Moscow.
Borodai, who, in concert with Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, led the deployment of Russian security forces to the Donbas in 2014, bought an apartment in Moscow in October 2015, a year after his return from eastern Ukraine, with a market value of more than 100 million roubles ($1.52 million). In Dubai, Borodai bought an apartment in the Grandeur Residences on the Palm Jumeirah archipelago for 450,000 euros (37 million roubles, according to an investigation by Alexei Navalny's team. Borodai called the investigation a “fake” and “a very stupid and unsophisticated political provocation.” The apartments were put up for sale soon after the investigation was published.