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What is an oligarch?

What is an oligarch?

What is an oligarch?

The term ‘oligarch’ has been used to describe various Russia individuals who have been faced with sanctions from other countries, including the UK, in recent weeks.

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If you were rich and so powerful and you were part of a select group of people who had control over, say, Russia, then you would be responsible for what that government is doing.

What is an oligarch? 1
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (left) and Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska (right) walk to attend the APEC Business Advisory Council dialogue in Danang, Vietnam in 2017. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File.

Who Are Russia’s Oligarchs?

The most influential and exposed oligarchs from the Yeltsin era include: Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Fridman, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Potanin, Alexander Smolensky, Pyotr Aven, Vladimir Vinogradov, Vitaly Malkin.

What is an oligarch?
Russian oligarch: (from top left to bottom) Roman Abramovich, Oleg Deripaska, Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Potanin, Mikhail Prokhorov, Gennady Timchenko, Vagit Alekperov, Petr Aven and Arkady Rotenberg.

Prominent oligarchs of the Putin era include Roman Abramovich, Alexander Abramov, Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Prokhorov, Alisher Usmanov, German Khan, Viktor Vekselberg, Leonid Mikhelson, Vagit Alekperov, Mikhail Fridman, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Vladimir Potanin, Pyotr Aven, and Vitaly Malkin.

Why Are Oligarchs Under Scrutiny?

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union, the U.K., Australia and others have said they are moving to scrutinize the assets of a handful of rich and powerful Russians.

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These governments say such people have profited from their close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many have spent lavishly outside Russia, boosting local economies with property purchases and other investments. Now, authorities around the world see them as a way to pressure Mr. Putin.

The scrutiny has turned a group of mostly obscure officials and businesspeople into some of the world’s most closely tracked individuals.

Some have publicly signaled they are against the war. Many of Russia’s better-known oligarchs aren’t on any governments’ sanctions lists. That is the case with Roman Abramovich, who made his money in the energy business and is the owner of British soccer club Chelsea.

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