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Kremlin Spokesman Explains 2015 Income

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says a big inheritance explains why he earned 36.7-million rubles ($544,000) in 2015, according to his official income declaration.

"There is a salary, and I really had a large income last year because sadly I got an inheritance when my father died," the presidential press secretary said on April 18.

According to the income declaration published last week, Peskov earned four times more than President Vladimir Putin, who declared an 8.9-million-ruble income ($133,900). The president also declared ownership of a 77-square-meter apartment, a 1,500-square-meter plot of land, and a garage.

Kremlin opponents and Western officials have long accused Putin of using his power to accrue massive wealth and lavish real estate.

In the recent Panama Papers leak, it emerged that members of his elite circle had channeled millions of dollars through offshore accounts. Putin has denied "any element of corruption" over the offshore schemes.

Based on reporting by Interfax and the BBC