An unprecedented battle is taking place inside the Kremlin in advance of Vladimir Putin's departure from office, the Guardian has learned, with claims that the president presides over a secret multibillion-dollar fortune.The numbers:
Rival clans inside the Kremlin are embroiled in a struggle for the control of assets as Putin prepares to transfer power to his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in May, well-placed political observers and other sources have revealed.
At stake are billions of dollars in assets belonging to Russian state-run corporations. Additionally, details of Putin's own personal fortune, reportedly hidden in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, are being discussed for the first time.
Citing sources inside the president's administration, ("Russian political expert") Stanislav Belkovsky claims that after eight years in power Putin has secretly accumulated more than $40bn (£20bn). The sum would make him Russia's - and Europe's - richest man.