Here are the five richest people in Russia

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

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

Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Potanin, famously made his fortune from the equity-based loan program in 1995. Potanin came to own the largest stake in Norilsk Nickel, the largest producer of high-grade nickel, thanks to this program. Chairman and co-owner of Norilsk, Potanin has a total net worth of $29.7 billion, with a majority 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 Russia’s co-First Deputy Prime Minister in 1996.

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 producer.

Its other companies include Freight One, the country’s largest freight railway, UCL Port BV, which operates port facilities, and shipping company VBTH.

Leonid Mikhelson, 66, has a net worth of $26.2 billion. Mikhelson is the CEO of Novatek, Russia’s second largest natural gas producer. He also has a roughly 25% stake in the company, which produces nearly 10% of Russia’s gross natural gas output.

Additionally, Mikhelson owns a 30.6% stake in Zao Sibur, Russia’s largest integrated petrochemical company. Mikhelson is a close associate of Gennady Timchenko, one of Russia’s wealthiest people and the target of recent British sanctions.

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

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

Alexey Mordashov was born to steel mill workers, starting his job at the same steel mill as his parents, then building the steel and mining conglomerate Severstal, which is the country’s fourth-largest steel producer. Mordashov also has stakes in Nordgold, a gold mining company with assets on three continents, Power Machines, a maker of power generation equipment, and TUI, a tour operator.

He also holds investments in several important national companies such as National Media Group, Bank Rossiya and Rostelecom.

(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)


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