Russian State Duma deputies have declared their incomes for 2009, and declared their passion for cars — of all shapes and sizes.
The incomes declarations were released on the Duma website on Friday, revealing that the people's representatives in the lower house of parliament own the full range of Russian and foreign vehicles, from lowly Zaporozhets to elite racing cars, and all manner of off-roaders, including a Hummer H1 and a Belarus tractor.
Domestic models are of course well-represented — Ladas, Gazel vans and Niva and UAZ SUVs, as well as a surprising number of snowmobiles.
But for some of the deputies, it's the sheer number of cars that comes as a surprise.
Three-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling champion Alexander Karelin, now a deputy for the ruling United Russia party, owns five Mercedes, as well as a Mini Cooper, a classic GAZ-21 Volga, a Toyota SUV and a GAZ Tigr — Russia's answer to the Hummer.
Duma regulation committee chairman Otari Arshba is not far behind Karelin with eight cars, including a BMW 750LI, a Mercedes S500, two Toyota Land Cruisers, a Lincoln Navigator and a Chevrolet Tahoe. He also owns land in Russia and in Georgia.
Liberal Democrat Party of Russia representative Dennis Davitiashvili owns a racing Ferrari F131, while a member of the committee on financial markets, For a Just Russia's Anatoly Aksakov, who reported an annual income of about 2 million rubles ($65,000), runs about in a $80,000 Porsche Cayenne FL.
Another Just Russia deputy, Anton Belyakov, favors classic cars, with two legendary Soviet machines — the GAZ-13 Chaika (Seagull) and a Zaporozhets ZAZ-965.
The chairman of the financial markets committee, Vladislav Reznik, who last year earned 103.7 million rubles ($3.4 million), owns an impressive fleet of SUVs, including a Hummer H1, Puch 230 GE, Mercedes-Benz G55AMG, Mercedes-Benz G65AMG, and a domestic UAZ-315195 Hunter.
And those are just the lighter vehicles. His garage also holds Pinzgauer 712M and Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer 712 K military all-terrain vehicles, and a pair of TREKOL 39294 swamp vehicles.
Reznik declared several plots of land in Russia, and his wife, who earned 109.2 million rubles in 2009, owns an apartment in the United States.
There are a few motorbikes on the list, including the Harley-Davidson of United Russia's Sergei Zheleznyak, and even a tractor — Salavat Itkul, another United Russia deputy, owns a Belarus T-40 and several tractor attachments.
MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti)
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The question now is not whether Russia and its economy are able to take on the problem of Ukrainian refugees. The question is whether we should consider it from such a calculating point of view. If so, then we shouldn’t accept refugees at all, because this will cost us financially. So, should we shut the door to refugees?