Russian oligarchs are bracing for impact as the United States and its allies prepare for another round of sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the country’s elite, who rank among the 500 richest in the world, have lost a combined US$83 billion this year. On top of these losses, the targeted billionaires are expected to take another hit as the United States announced over the weekend that they will launch a multilateral transatlantic task force that will “identify, hunt down, and freeze assets of sanctioned Russian companies and oligarchs.”
At the same time, France is putting together a list of assets owned by Russian oligarchs, including cars and superyachts, that could be seized by the European Union. At least four of these superyachts are on the move, likely as an effort to avoid seizure, based on available data. According to the report, three superyachts are headed toward the Maldives, while Vagit Alekperov’s yacht, Galactica Super Nova, is on its way to Montenegro.
Alekperov, president of Russia-based oil company Lukoil, has seen his net worth drop by about US$13 billion this year. This is the biggest decline among the 22 Russian billionaires on Bloomberg’s wealth index. Lukoil’s London-traded shares plunged 62.8% on Monday.
Among the oligarchs targeted is Roman Abramovich, whose assets include a stake in steelmaker Evraz and Chelsea Football Club. According to a report by The Guardian, Abramovich is hastily selling his UK properties to avoid potential sanctions. He also announced in a statement that he was handing over the “stewardship and care” of Chelsea football club to the trustees of its charitable foundation on Saturday, while this afternoon he formally announced that he is looking to sell his interest in the Club due to pressure coming at the club from fans and government officials alike. Abramovich has owned a stake in the Club since 2003.
Where are the Oligarchs?
As the EU joined Britain in banning Russian-owned private planes from its airspace, Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old University of Central Florida student, who famously tracks Elon Musk’s jet, started tracking them on the Twitter account Russian Oligarch Jets.
Jets and helicopters belonging to Abramovich were tracked flying to Moscow and far-flung places like Codrington in Antigua and Barbuda, while a jet owned by the steel magnate and fellow Russian oligarch Alexander Abramov landed in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
The Twitter account has gained over 294,000 followers since it launched over the weekend, reflecting the intensifying interest in the movement of these Russian elites.
Information for this briefing was found via The Daily Mail, The White House, Twitter and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.