The rise of the Oligarchs
These men and women not only amassed great wealth but also came into economic and political power – and they did it fast.
Oligarchy in 2021
Oligarchs are members of a business elite who rapidly accumulated wealth during an era of privatisations in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.
The failing Soviet Union left the ownership of state assets contested, allowing politically connected and ruthless businessmen to acquire former state property at bargain prices.
Roman Abramovich owns stakes in steel giant Evraz, Norilsk Nickel and the U.K.’s Chelsea soccer team.
The Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has been accused of money laundering and having links to organised crime in a leaked Swiss police report.
In December 2016 the Football Leaks scandal revealed that Rybolovlev and football agent Jorge Mendes had set up a secret system to illegally buy players’ shares.
Using a Cyprus-based offshore investment fund named Browsefish Limited, Rybolovlev manipulated the price of his own players through third-party ownerships (TPO).
Makhmudov, who worked as an Arabic translator for a Soviet arms exporter in Libya and Iraq in the 1980s, has made his fortune from the copper and coal industry and making train and subway cars.
The company Transmashholding that Makhmudov controls has a virtual monopoly in the latter area in Russia.
Vladimir Potanin's net worth of $26.3B can buy ...
Kenes Rakishev’s close friendship with Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s blood-soaked leader, is under scrutiny following threats from the United States to impose further sanctions on oligarchs…