An unlikely new species of Russian multi-millionaire has been identified at a time when the country's elite is under fire for making the lives of Russia's poor even more miserable: politicians.
The same deputies who backed Vladimir Putin's proposals to savagely cut Communist-era benefits for a quarter of the population are not, according to a new "rich list" published yesterday, short of a few rubles themselves.
Up to now it had been imagined that Russia's super-rich were drawn exclusively from the ranks of businessmen who made their fortunes by cashing in on the country's treasure trove of raw materials - oil and gas or metals.
Having witnessed the fate of jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, whose anti-Kremlin stance cost him dearly, it was expected that budding tycoons would steer well clear of politics.
But, to the outrage of many ordinary Russians, the list published by weekly magazine Finance reveals just what opportunities there are for Putin-supporting politicians.
Finance said three regional presidents, 20 MPs, 11 senators, a regional governor and a deputy regional governor were among the country's 468 wealthiest individuals.
Five of the men were classed as dollar billionaires. With a cool US$11.5 billion ($16.5 billion) to his name, the owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich (who is also the governor of Russia's Chukotka region) was crowned the country's wealthiest political mover and shaker.
Though his was the only household name on the list - at least outside Russia - his political role turns out to be far from uncommon.
Valery Oif, much of whose money is derived from Abramovich's oil firm Sibneft, was listed as Russia's 24th richest person and was said to be worth US$1.68 billion. He is a senator in the country's Federation Council.
Farkhad Akhmedov, another senator, was said to be worth US$1.27 billion. Much of his money is from a firm called Nortgaz.
Leonard Simanovsky, an MP, was estimated to be worth US$1.1 billion, while MP Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB agent in Britain, was reckoned to be worth US$1 billion dollars exactly.
Oleg Anisimov, Finance's chief editor, said most businessmen who entered politics allied themselves with President Putin.
"For businessmen it's dangerous to belong to another party ... therefore they tend to join United Russia [Putin's party]."
He conceded many had grown wealthy because of their political activities. "If you have a senior position and you help someone in the business world, it is widely understood that you are owed a favour and that you will be repaid."
The list comes ahead of a crunch vote of no confidence in the Government over the social benefits issue, and as Putin's popularity rating languishes at an all-time low.
Data also shows that the gap between Russia's haves and have-nots is wider now than in 1991.
Igor Nikolayev, a strategic analyst, told the daily Gazeta: "This poses a clear danger. Increasing income differentiation could lead to a social explosion."
By Andrew Osborn in Moscow