Russia’s richest individuals have lost more than $38 billion in 2022 because of Western sanctions on Russia in reprisal for the invasion of Ukraine.
As Visual Capitalist's Bruno Venditti details below, together, the top 10 Russian oligarchs have a net worth of $186 billion, equivalent to the market cap of large publicly-traded companies like McDonald’s and AMD.
But who are the Russian ultra-rich?
In today’s graphic, we use data from Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index to show Russia’s richest individuals… and how much they’ve lost due to the war so far.
Metals, Art, Luxury, and Sports
The richest person in Russia, Vladimir Potanin, has a 35% stake in Moscow-listed Nornickel.
The company is the world’s biggest producer of palladium, a metal used in vehicle catalytic converters, and also the world’s largest producer of nickel, an essential metal for EV batteries and renewable energy.
*Based on Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as of March 24, 2022
Former First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and a close associate to President Vladimir Putin, Potanin is a major benefactor of the arts. He recently stepped down from the board of the Guggenheim Museum, after 20 years as a trustee.
Arts and luxury are common among the Russian oligarchs.
The Russian ultra-rich are also among the biggest owners of private jets and superyachts—some of which are getting snagged by law enforcement as part of the sanctions designed to crack down on Russia.
The fifth-richest man in Russia, Alisher Usmanov, owns Dilbar, the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage. The boat is 512-feet long and reportedly cost $800 million, employing 84 full-time crew members.
Named after Usmanov’s mother, the yacht was seized by German authorities who later discovered that it’s really owned by a Malta-based firm and registered in the Cayman Islands.
Besides art and luxury, the Russian oligarchs are also deeply involved with sports.
Roman Abramovich, once Russia’s richest man, is the departing owner of Chelsea Football Club, a London-based soccer team. He was sanctioned by the UK while trying to sell the club for $3.9B.
Besides Abramovich, Mikhail Prokhorov—founder of Onexim Group, a Moscow-based company with interests in banking, insurance, and real estate—owned the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and its home arena from 2009 to 2019.
The list also includes Vladimir Lisin, chairman of the steel group NLMK. A shooting sports enthusiast, he is the president of the European Shooting Confederation.
Fading Fortunes? Not so Fast
This is not the first time Russian oligarchs have faced tough economic sanctions. Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, 20 Russian billionaires have been sanctioned by the EU, U.S., U.K., Switzerland, or Canada.
Most of them have real estate ownership in relatives’ names or have assets registered in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands or the Isle of Man.
For example, upon being hit by sanctions, steel baron Alexey Mordashov transferred his majority stake in gold miner Nordgold to his wife, Marina.
Despite the crash of the ruble and the tanking of the Moscow stock market, Russian oligarchs are still able to shield their money and assets in creative ways.