Russian billionaires on the first day Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, lost nearly $ 39 billion. Russian stocks fell 50% and the ruble (₽) depreciated the lowest. According to Forbes, since February 16, about 116 Russian billionaires have lost nearly $90 billion in net worth.
Five of the 13 billionaires that President Putin summoned to the Kremlin, including Alekperov, Mikhelson, Mordashov, Potanin, and Kerimov. They are the ones who lose the most money.
In the State of the Union address on March 1, US President Joe Biden mentioned tycoons close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asserting that the US and its allies will “seize yachts, luxury apartments, and their private jet” and “prevent them from entering Europe and the US”.
“Next week, we will be sending a transatlantic task force to locate, track, and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian companies and oligarchs,” the White House warned.
55-year-old billionaire Roman Abramovich is said to be selling off his London property to prepare for this situation. He currently has an estimated fortune of 13.5 billion USD and has put Chelsea FC for sale.
Abramovich was wiped out 1 billion USD this week, he was not allowed to renew his UK visa. However, he was still able to visit Chelsea thanks to his Israeli and Portuguese citizenship. The $2 billion loans he made to Chelsea forced him to quit his club.
Safe places to store assets
Many Russian billionaires are sailing yachts to Montenegro and the Maldives. These two countries do not have an extradition treaty with the US.
The world learned this thanks to a 19-year-old student in Florida (USA) who created a Twitter bot that tracked the movements of nearly 40 planes and helicopters related to Russian oligarchs.
Earlier this week, at least four superyachts owned by Russian billionaires were sailing to Montenegro and the Maldives.
Even so, many other neutral countries are saying no to Russia. Monaco and Switzerland have sided with the EU, closing their airspace to planes from Russia and banning entry to many people close to Putin.
“If you were a Russian tycoon, parking a yacht in the Indian Ocean, most of your money wouldn’t be registered by your name,” said Alison Jimenez – director of law consulting firm Dynamic Securities Analytics. “They used a lot of shell companies and many representatives. Losing 75% of their net worth, they are still very rich.”
A yacht in Maldives (a country in Indian Ocean)
Two Russian billionaires Mikhail Fridman and Oleg Deripaska have called for an end to the conflict in Ukraine. Fridman is the Chairman of Alfa Group – a conglomerate with diversified businesses from banking, insurance, retail to the mineral water production.
Rusal aluminum billionaire Oleg Deripaska, 54 years old, called for peace talks “as quickly as possible”. He is the 775th richest person in the world according to Forbes’ 2021 rankings, currently owning a fortune of 4 billion USD.
Billionaire Oleg Deripaska‘s superyacht Clio was quickly docked in the capital Male, Maldives.
Russian billionaires are moving their yachts
Three other yachts, including the Nirvana of Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin, were sailing in Maldives waters on March 2. Before that, most yachts were anchored at ports in the Middle East.
The Titan yacht of billionaire Alexander Abramov (co-founder of steel corporation Evraz) arrived in the Maldives on February 28.
Unable to move in time, one of the world’s largest yachts of Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov was seized by German authorities on March 2 in Hamburg (Germany) for repair. The yacht named Dilbar is 156m long. Usmanov bought it in 2016 for $600 million.
Usmanov has assets worth billions of dollars in the company Metalloinvest, the phone company MegaFon, Xiaomi; as well as owns real estate across Europe. Usmanov was also one of Facebook‘s early investors.
The European Union (EU) has announced plans to blacklist Usmanov and ban him from entering Europe.
On March 2, Everton F.C. of the English Premier League terminated sponsorship contracts with three of Mr. Usmanov’s companies.
Everton FC suspends sponsorship deals with Usmanov
Meanwhile, Alexei Mordashov – Russia’s richest man, has also been put on the EU sanctions list. The EU claims that his Rossiya Bank has benefited from the annexation of the Crimea peninsula. Mr. Mordashov said he did not understand how EU sanctions against him would help resolve the conflict in Ukraine. “I have absolutely nothing to do with current geopolitical tensions,” the billionaire added.
Billionaire Vagit Alekperov – former Ministry of Oil Industry of Soviet, who founded Lukoil – Russia’s largest non-state oil producer. His net worth has “evaporated” $ 3.8 billion, or 15.4% of his total fortune of $ 21.6 billion when shares of the Russian oil company plunged. Shares of Lukoil listed in London and Moscow fell more than 30%.
The Galactica Super Nov of billionaire Vagit Alekperov has left the port of Barcelona (Spain) and is expected to arrive in Montenegro in a few days.
Billionaire Gennady Timchenko, 69, is the son of a Soviet army officer. He has a close relationship with President Putin in the 1990s. His fortune was wiped out by $ 1.7 billion. Mr. Timchenko owns shares in gas company Novatek and petrochemical producer Sirbu.
Mr. Timchenko lost more than $21 billion after the sanctions in 2014 that forced him to sell his 43% stake in Gunvor (the world’s fourth-largest oil company).
Billionaire Leonid Mikhelson, another shareholder of gas company Novatek, also lost $6.2 billion.
Boris Rotenberg and family
The UK sanctions list also includes Boris Rotenberg, 65, and his grandson – Igor, 48. These are two important members of Stroygazmontazh – a company that builds the gas pipeline.
Igor’s father, Arkady Rotenberg is one of Putin’s former Judo fighters, who sold Stroygazmontazh in 2019 for about $1.3 billion.
Arkady Rotenberg (brother of Boris Rotenberg) is one of Putin’s former Judo fighters
The West is aggressively sanctioning all fields related to Russia. From politics, economics, sports, even to pets.