Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: AP)
Backers of Russian government transparency were scratching their heads Sunday after the release of an annual report on government salaries showing that the spokesman for President Vladmir Putin earned more than his boss.
The annual list - initiated in 2008 by the Kremlin as an effort to boost transparency about government accounts - shows that Putin‘s 2012 income was the equivalent of about $190,000, while his spokesman Dmitry Peskov stood at about $208,500 for the same year.
Analysts have long been sceptical of the figures in the report, since there is no way to double-check the data upon which the report is based.
For their part, Russian politicians have often said that the report makes their salaries look low since many of them have apartments or cars provided by the state.