Since February 21, the day Russia officially recognized the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine and paved the way for the invasion three days later, Western countries have imposed a series of economic sanctions against hundreds of Russian politicians and business magnates who control the country’s media, banks, oil refineries, and other key sectors.
Among those sanctioned include some of the richest Russians. Depending on whose list you refer to, there are approximately 100 Russian billionaires (in U.S. dollars). Seventeen are now under sanctions imposed by the U.S., the U.K. or the European Union, which prohibit them from accessing their overseas assets and doing business with Western companies. Some have been under sanctions for years for their roles in enabling Russia’s annexation of the Crimea Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
Many of them have close personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Alexey Mordashov, Russia’s second-richest person who was added to the EU sanction list on Monday, runs Russia’s Bank Rossiya, which the EU described as “the personal bank of senior Russian officials.” Also on the list is Alisher Usmanov, the sixth-richest person in Russia known as “one of Putin’s favorite oligarchs,” according to the EU, and Arkady Rotenberg, Putin’s childhood friend who reportedly owns the “Putin’s Palace,” a huge complex of buildings on the Black Sea coast.
Arkady Rotenberg’s son, Igor Rotenberg, and brother, Boris Rotenberg, have been blacklisted by the U.S. and the U.K (although not the EU) for their close relationship with Putin and large stakes in Russia’s state-owned energy company Gasprom, the largest natural gas producer in the world. On March 3, the White House added more members of the Rotenberg family to its sanction list: Arkady Rotenberg’s other son, Pavel, and daughter, Liliya, as well as Boris Rotenberg’s wife, Karina, and sons Roman and Boris.
The U.S. also recently added Putin’s former son-in-law, Kirill Dmitriev, to its sanction list. Dmitriev, 46, is CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund. He was known as Russia’s youngest billionaire but lost his billionaire status in 2018 following the divorce with Putin’s younger daughter Katerina Tikhonova.
Here is a list of every Russian billionaire sanctioned since 2014.