Russia’s richest lose $102 billion of wealth after a year of war

The 23 Russian billionaires who ranked among the world’s 500 wealthiest people had a combined net worth of $US339 billion ($513.5 billion) on February 23, 2022, the day before Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine.

A year later, with the conflict anything but resolved, Russia’s rich and powerful have lost $US67 billion ($101.5 billion) from their collective fortunes, a 20 per cent drop that’s more than four times as large as the rest of those on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Alexey Mordashov has seen $US6.7 billion wiped out from his net worth since Russia’s invasion.Credit:Bloomberg

The biggest loser: Alexey Mordashov, the main owner of Severstal PJSC, one of Russia’s biggest steelmakers. He’s seen $US6.7 billion wiped out from his net worth since Russia’s invasion. With an estimated $US19.8 billion, he’s still the country’s fourth-richest person.

The second-largest decline belongs to another steel tycoon, Vladimir Lisin. The chairman of Novolipetsk Steel PJSC has lost $US5.8 billion over the past year, bringing his fortune down to $US20.5 billion.

By contrast, Andrey Guryev has gained $US2.1 billion since the war started thanks to a surge in the stock price of PhosAgro PJSC, one of the biggest manufacturers of phosphate fertilisers in Europe. He’s the company’s founder and his family is its largest shareholder.

Yet an analysis of Russia’s ultra-rich suggests the several rounds of scattershot sanctions from the US, UK and European Union have had a limited long-term effect. In fact, the billionaires’ collective net worth bottomed just weeks after the invasion, dropping $US92 billion to $US248 billion on March 9, 2022.

Of course, the sanctions have hit other pain points.

Roman Abramovich was forced to put his prized London possessions up for sale, including Chelsea Football Club. Mikhail Fridman said he was “in shock” after his lawyer told him that sanctions meant travel bans and frozen accounts. Viktor Vekselberg had his $US90 million, 255-footsuperyacht Tango seized by Spain at the behest of the US in April.

More recently, US authorities have been looking to track down art that was bought or sold by ultra-rich Russian tycoons. Abramovich, Vekselberg and Andrey Melnichenko were among those named in subpoenas from federal prosecutors in New York who are demanding high-end auction houses turn over years of records, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month.


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