Putin never lies, steals or even makes a mistake. His reputation is irreproachable. Few Russians know about the corruption allegations brought against him in the early 1990s. Few know how many of Putin’s friends were given CEO positions in Russia’s largest corporations, helping them make their way onto the Forbes billionaire list in only a couple of years — nor would they believe any of this if they found out about it.Putin responded to Western media reports alleging that his net worth is estimated to be tens of billions of dollars. In his signature style, he said commentators invented this rubbish by picking the information from their noses and spreading it across their newspaper pages and internet sites. End of discussion. In an open society, these and other allegations would be aired, investigated and made part of the public discussion.