Putin aide accused of corruption over 'wedding present' watch

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, is married to a former figure skater.

Story highlights

  • Wedding photos show Vladimir Putin's press spokesman Dmitry Peskov wearing luxury wristwatch
  • Anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny tweets that the newlywed's timepiece "costs more than your apartment"
  • Peskov denies corruption, says watch was a gift from his wife, former Olympic figure skater Tatiana Navka

Moscow (CNN)Vladimir Putin's newly-married press spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has become the focus of angry corruption allegations after wedding photographs circulating on social media showed him kissing his bride while wearing a wristwatch estimated to cost more than $600,000 -- several times more than his official Kremlin salary.

Russia's most prominent opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, jumped on the scandal, repeatedly re-tweeting the photo, snapped at the wedding ceremony in Sochi, along with a magnified image of the luxury timepiece -- a Richard Mille RM 52-01 "Skull" watch, of which fewer than three dozen are said to have been made.
    "The watch of the newly-wed Peskov costs more than your apartment," anti-corruption campaigner Navalny wrote in his online blog. "The happy groom has been working for the State since 1989, and couldn't earn so many millions legally."
    But the Russian President's spokesman denied the wristwatch was evidence of corruption, saying it was a merely a wedding gift from his wife.
    Peskov, 47, married Tatiana Navka, a former Olympic figure skater, at the weekend in a lavish ceremony at one of Russia's most luxurious hotels, the Rodina or "Motherland," owned by billionaire oligarch Oleg Deripaska.