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The Oligarchs: Here are Russia’s five richest individuals

The Oligarchs: Here are Russia’s five richest individuals

The Oligarchs: Here are Russia’s five richest individuals
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By CNBCTV18.com Feb 23, 2022 6:29:52 PM IST (Published)

Russia is famous for its oligarchs, who emerged in the wake of the dissolution of the USSR, when rampant corruption saw accumulation of fabulous wealth in the hands of a few.

The collapse of the USSR, and the rise of Boris Yeltsin at the helm of a capitalistic, liberal, free market Russia saw rampant corruption and accumulation of wealth in the hands of a select group of individuals. Many of these individuals would go on to become some of the richest and most influential individuals in Russia, often having significant political power as well.

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Some of these individuals today are among the Russia’s richest. Here are Russia’s five richest oligarchs, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.


Vladimir Potanin

The richest man in Russia, Vladimir Potanin notoriously made his fortunes through the loans-for-shares scheme in 1995. Potanin came to hold the biggest stake in Norilsk Nickel, the largest producer of high-grade nickel, through this scheme. The President and Co-Owner of Norilsk, Potanin has a total net worth of $29.7 billion, with controlling stake in Petrovax Pharm, a Russian pharmaceutical company.

Potanin is known to be a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin and even served as the Co-First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in 1996.

Vladimir Lisin

With a wealth of $26.7 billion, Lisin is involved in steel and logistics in Russia, and is an authority on metallurgy, with over 100 articles and monographs on the subject. Lisin is the Chairman and majority shareholder of Novolipetsk, which is Russia’s largest steel manufacturer.

His other companies include Freight One, the largest freight rail in the country, UCL Port B.V., which operates port facilities and shipping company VBTH.

Leonid Mikhelson

Sixty six-year-old Leonid Mikhelson has a net worth of $26.2 billion. Mikhelson is the CEO of Novatek, the second-largest natural gas producer in Russia. He also holds about a 25 percent stake in the company, which produces nearly 10 percent of Russia’s gross natural gas production.

Additionally, Mikhelson owns a 30.6 percent stake in Zao Sibur, the largest integrated petrochemicals company in Russia. Mikhelson is a close associate of Gennady Timchenko, one of the richest people in Russia and the target of recent British sanctions.

Alisher Usmanov

With a net worth of $21.6 billion, Usmanov is the fifth-richest individual in Russia. Usmanov holds a 49 percent stake in USM Holding, a Russian investment company. Through USM Holding, he controls Metalloinvest, Russia’s largest iron ore producer, and MegaFon, the second-largest mobile phone operator and the third-largest telecom operator in Russia.

Usmanov also controls Kommersant, a leading Russian daily, and also holds stakes in JD.Com and Uber Technologies.

Alexey Mordashov

Alexey Mordashov was born to steel mill workers, starting his work in the same steel plant as his parents and then going on to build the steel and mining conglomerate Severstal, which is the country’s fourth-biggest steel producer. Mordashov also holds stakes in Nordgold, a gold mining company with assets in three continents, Power Machines, a power generation equipment manufacturer, and TUI, a tour operator.

He also holds investments in several important national businesses like National Media Group, Bank Rossiya and Rostelecom.

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