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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Officials' Wives Are Main Breadwinners

As top officials this week declared their spouses' income and property for the first time and, taking a cue from President Dmitry Medvedev, made the declarations public, it emerged that some of them -- on paper, at least -- are not the main breadwinners in their families.

The Kremlin on Thursday released the tax declarations of presidential administration officials, following earlier disclosures of income and property declared by several senior officials, including Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Vladislav Surkov, the first deputy head of the presidential administration, who is often described as the Kremlin's "gray cardinal," earned 3.89 million rubles ($115,000) in 2008 but owns no property, according to his declaration published on the Kremlin's web site.

Meanwhile, Surkov's wife, Natalya Dubovitskaya, earned 16.8 million rubles ($497,000) and owns two plots of land, a 761-square-meter house, an apartment and a 176-square-meter house for security guards, according to his declaration.

Another senior official who earned far less than his wife is Medvedev's aide Arkady Dvorkovich, who reported earnings last year of 3.12 million rubles ($92,000) and owns no car. His wife, Zumrud Rustamova, earned 27.2 million rubles ($808,000) and owns a Honda and a Lexus.

Rustamova is deputy general director of metals firm Polimetall.

The wife of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, Natalya Kvachyova, earned 1.4 million rubles ($43,000) more than her husband last year. She also owns three apartments and an Audi.

A decree that Medvedev signed last month orders bureaucrats -- beginning next year -- to declare not only their income and assets but also those of their spouses and underage children, ostensibly to crack down on civil servants who hide suspiciously large personal fortunes by signing them over to spouses. Medvedev said last month that although the new law does not come into effect until next year, he would begin this year and release his declaration to the public. This week he made good on the promise, revealing an income of 4.1 million rubles ($124,000) in 2008 and seeing a wave of top officials follow suit.

No senior official was so greatly out-earned by his wife as First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who declared 4.7 million rubles in earnings last year. His wife, Olga Shuvalova, earned 364.7 million rubles ($10.8 million), according to his declaration. The couple jointly owns a Jaguar, four Mercedes, a Zil and a Ford camper van. In a 2002 interview, Shuvalova told Profil magazine that she was trained as a lawyer but not working at her husband's request. In 2007, national media reported that she had a diamond ring worth more than $100,000 stolen in a beauty salon.

Other top officials' wives earned next to nothing last year but had significant property interests, according to their tax declarations.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin declared an income of 5.6 million rubles ($168,000) and listed no property other than an Audi 6. His wife, Irina Tintyakova, earned 223,400 rubles ($6,600) but owns two plots of land, a Subaru, a house and an apartment, according to Kudrin's declaration. His son Artyom, born in 1998, also owns an apartment.

Apart from Kudrin, other politicians reported that their underage children owned or rented apartments.

Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko declared 14 million rubles ($417,000) in earnings and one apartment. He reported that his two underage children rent another apartment at a discount rate from the Moscow city government.

The Shmatko family also owns a Porsche Cayenne, a Toyota Prado and a Toyota Land Cruiser.

The highest earner in the presidential administration was Medvedev's former university classmate and Kremlin audit department head Konstantin Chuichenko, who declared 368,000 ($10.9 million). Chuichenko's wife, Kristina Tikhonova, earned 92 million rubles ($2.7 million) and owns a 900-square-meter house. The top earner in the Cabinet was Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev, who declared earnings of almost 370 million rubles ($11 million) and listed among his property a Porsche Cayenne, a Porsche 911 and a Volkswagen Touareg.