His job may mostly consist of playing down stories about Russia's president, but Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's sandily mustached spokesman, has eclipsed even his own boss in the spotlight.
Last month, opposition politician Alexey Navalny noticed that the watch Peskov wore at his opulent wedding to Olympic figure skating champion Tatiana Navka cost $620,000 — more than five times his declared income.
Though Peskov claimed his wife had given him the watch — a limited edition Richard Mille RM 52-01 — as a wedding present, Navalny pointed out that Peskov's teenage daughter Elizaveta had posted a photo to Instagram of him wearing it months earlier.
Navalny wouldn't tell BuzzFeed News who the source was. When asked if that opposition-minded socialite Ksenia Sobchak had also recently holidayed on Sardinia was a coincidence, Navalny said, "I don't think so," parsing a favorite Kremlin propaganda line.
"The glam types that hang out with Peskov and his wife are all annoyed by the hypocrisy," Navalny said. "They have to come back to Moscow with jamón and parmesan," banned there under an embargo on foods from countries that have passed sanctions against Russia, "and Peskov is saying that it's normal to tighten your belts [...] they see Peskov sunbathing and he says that you have to run over geese with a bulldozer."