An incomplete list of oligarchs who left Russia
A crowdsourced catalogue
Which oligarchs left Russia after February 24?
We could not find a comprehensive list—at least not in English—and so this is our attempt at creating one.
We soon realized this was no easy task.
For starters, many of Russia’s wealthiest business-type people spend large chunks of the year living on their 500-bedroom yachts parked in the Thames or wherever. Point is: their mere absence doesn’t necessarily mean they “fled” or even “left” Russia. In order to make it onto The List, there needs to be evidence that they are not returning anytime soon.
Secondly: there are several high profile Russians who have resigned their posts after being targeted by sanctions, or after criticizing the special operation in Ukraine, but still remain in Russia. They are excluded from The List because they haven’t left Russia.
Something else to keep in mind: even if you are super rich and pledge fealty to Kiev—this does not necessarily mean you have cut all business ties in Russia. There are Ukrainian oligarchs who continue to make money from investments in Russia, while simultaneously providing material support to the Ukrainian military. The world is a strange place.
For now, The List only includes government officials, oligarchs, and miscellaneous businesspeople. We’ve also added excerpts from media reports that explain where these people went/why they allegedly left/what they’re up to these days.
There are many individuals in the entertainment industry who could probably be added to The List, but maybe they deserve a separate List? Still trying to decide.
The List is a work in progress. Please help us expand it! Share any information you have in the comments section (with links, please) and we will make the necessary updates and additions.
Anatoly Chubais, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Relations with International Organizations to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals
Russian climate envoy Anatoly Chubais has stepped down and left the country, citing his opposition to President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the situation, becoming the highest-level official to break with the Kremlin over the invasion. [Bloomberg, March 23, 2022]
The Kremlin has neither the ability nor the desire to follow the fate of Anatoly Chubais, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday, emphasizing that the former director of Rusnano is not an employee of the presidential administration. [TASS, May 5, 2022]
Russian security officials will check the information about the accounts of the former head of Rusnano, Anatoly Chubais, who left the Russian Federation, hidden in European banks. Sources in law enforcement agencies told TASS on Saturday that the law enforcement agencies are also interrogating witnesses from Chubais’ entourage. [TASS, May 28, 2022]
The former head of Rusnano, Anatoly Chubais, transferred the ownership of his mansion for 2.3 billion rubles to a friend from Chelyabinsk [Komsomolskaya Pravda, June 15, 2022]
“My goal is not the post of chairman of the Association for the Development of Renewable Energy (ARVE), but the renewable energy industry itself in Russia… I remain a member of the ARVE presidium and in this capacity I am going to continue supporting renewable energy in Russia,” [Chubais] told TASS on Tuesday. [TASS, July 12, 2022]
Executives of state-owned enterprises
Andrey Panov, Deputy General Director of Aeroflot for Strategy, Service and Marketing
“We left Russia. I left Aeroflot. The old life is over,” he wrote on Facebook. Panov was appointed to the post of deputy general director of Aeroflot in 2018. Prior to that, he worked for the international consulting company Bain & Company for eight years. Prior to joining Bain, he was the editor of the Finance department of the Vedomosti newspaper and deputy editor-in-chief of its website. [Interfax, March 12, 2022]
Igor Volobuev, Vice President of Gazprombank
“I could no longer be in Russia. I am Ukrainian by nationality, I was born in Akhtyrka, I could no longer observe from the outside what Russia is doing with my homeland. My visit is like repentance, I want to wash off my Russian past. I want to stay in Ukraine until victory,” he said. [itsmycity.ru, April 27, 2022]
Lev Khasis, First Deputy Chairman of the Board of Sberbank
Lev Khasis, who served as the first deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank, stepped down from the board of the credit institution and left the bank on Monday, a source in one of the bank's subsidiaries told RIA Novosti.
“Khasis resigned from the board of Sberbank on Monday and left the bank. Further plans for cooperation with Sberbank are unknown,” the source said. [RIA Novosti, February 25, 2022]
“Khasis left for the States immediately with the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, he has the citizenship of this country,” said one of the sources in the Russian Internet company. This information was confirmed by another interlocutor of Vedomosti. According to him, Khasis left “almost immediately” after these events. But, according to another interlocutor, the top manager left the country “a couple of days” before the start of the special operation. [Vedomosti, April 18, 2022]
“[Among] those leaving were people who left as planned. There is nothing unusual about this - we had replacements prepared in advance, and they, in general, usually happened. And some of the [top managers who left] were [connected] with the fact that the bank fell under SDN sanctions (a black list that implies the blocking of assets and operations). All members of the board fell under SDN sanctions, and some of them decided that in this regard they want to leave the company,” [Sberbank CEO] Herman Gref commented.
The head of Sberbank added that nothing terrible happened for the bank: all the top managers who left were replaced. “We have two positions so far temporary, all the rest have been replaced with us permanently, and, I would say, there is no criticality in this,” the state banker noted.
The percentage of those who remained and those who left Sberbank , according to Gref, is negligible. “There were people who left and then came back. There was a shock, there was a fright, in the sense that we are civilians, not everyone is ready for this kind of drastic change - someone’s emotions worked, someone had a sober calculation, but in general I treat this process as normal,” he added. [Vedomosti, June 17, 2022]
Mikhail Fridman, founder of Alpha Group
On the day the invasion began, Fridman was in Moscow on a routine business trip. He quickly hightailed it back to London, where he spent the following days fielding frantic calls from Ukraine. He and his partners own one of the country’s biggest banks and hold a stake in its largest telecom operator, KyivStar. […] On Feb. 25, the day after Russian troops crossed into Ukraine, he sent a letter to his staff at LetterOne, later released to the public, decrying the conflict as a “tragedy” and saying “war can never be the answer.” For Fridman, it was a rare political statement, and he stopped short of directly criticizing Putin. Even so, he says that statement could make it dangerous for him to return to Russia. The following Monday, his charity organization, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, announced it would donate $10 million to Jewish organizations supporting refugees in Ukraine. [Bloomberg, March 17, 2022]
After falling under the sanctions, the billionaire, whose fortune was estimated at $ 15.5 billion in the latest Forbes rating, found himself in the "strange position of an ‘oligarch’ who has practically no money,” writes Bloomberg Businessweek. […] The businessman has an Israeli passport, but there is no housing there, and now there is no access to money to buy such real estate, writes Bloomberg Businessweek. “I am a prisoner here,” Friedman admits. [Forbes, March 17, 2022]
Russian businessmen Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman filed suits with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Lawsuits were filed against the Council of the European Union (EU), which imposed sanctions against entrepreneurs due to Russia's military operation in Ukraine. [Kommersant, May 30, 2022]
The press service of Alfa Group denied the information about obtaining Ukrainian citizenship by the founders of the company, billionaires Peter Aven and Mikhail Fridman.
Earlier it became known that the British authorities are easing sanctions against these two businessmen . This gave rise to rumors about a possible deal and disputes about the subject of the bargain. For example, a number of anonymous Telegram channels reported that businessmen allegedly agreed to re-register businesses in Ukraine, obtain Ukrainian citizenship and make significant charitable contributions to the budget of Ukraine (there was also a version of direct financing of the Armed Forces of Ukraine). [Nakanune.ru, July 19, 2022]
Petr Aven, head of Alpha Bank
Billionaires Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven will “soon” leave the board of directors of Alfa-Bank due to the sanctions imposed against them. Together with them, businessmen Alexander Galitsky and Sergey Matsotsky will leave the council. [Business Secrets, March 1, 2022]
Former members of the board of directors of Alfa-Bank, Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman, sent €150 million to help Ukrainians, the brief Telegram channel reports, citing a statement by Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Jacob Bleich. There is no official confirmation of this information yet.
According to Bleich, the billionaires donated money at the risk of “provoking Putin's wrath.” The rabbi also urged the authorities of Latvia not to deprive Aven of the citizenship of this country. [Info24.ru, April 27, 2022]
Billionaire Petr Aven managed to achieve easing of sanctions. Lawyers interviewed by Kommersant FM believe that 30 other Russian entrepreneurs also have a chance of success. On Tuesday, a London court allowed the former head of Alfa Group to use his accounts, Bloomberg reports. Prior to that, they were frozen due to the fact that Petr Aven was on the UK and EU sanctions lists. [Kommersant, July 20, 2022]
Mikhail Prokhorov, head of ONEXIM Group
Russian entrepreneur and one of the richest people on the planet, Mikhail Prokhorov, decided to move to Israel. Information about this was provided by an anonymous source in the department of civil aviation.
According to him, which came to the disposal of the publication “Details”, upon arriving in Israel, the billionaire expressed a desire to undergo the repatriation procedure.
It is also known that Prokhorov arrived in Tel Aviv from Switzerland on an El Al flight.
According to the Bloomberg rating top list, Mikhail Prokhorov ranks 148th in the ranking of the wealthiest businessmen in the world with a fortune of $14.5 billion. [Russian Planet, March 25, 2022]
Reports that businessman Mikhail Prokhorov is going to undergo a repatriation procedure in Israel are not true, RBC was told in the press service of the ONEXIM group.
“Mikhail Dmitrievich came to Israel in connection with a visit to a medical institution and will stay [there] for about seven days. No repatriation is planned,” they stressed there. [RBK, March 25, 2022]
Billionaire and former Russian presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov received Israeli citizenship. This happened on March 31, 2022 - it was on this day that Prokhorov was issued an Israeli passport. [Kapital-rus.ru, June 1, 2022]
Elena Bunina, CEO of Yandex (Russia)
The Bell writes that Elena Bunina spoke out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She announced this in a letter to colleagues published on the internal Yandex forum, which was at the disposal of the publication. Bunina said that the war caught her outside of Russia - she was on vacation in Cyprus. On March 1, Bunina flew to Israel, where she worked for the entire month in the company's office in Tel Aviv.
“I will not return [to Russia]: I cannot live in a country that is at war with its neighbors,” she wrote. Bunina added that she would formally remain the CEO of the company until April 15. “I will transfer the rest of my roles gradually. Until I fully transfer it, I will not drop it, ”the letter says. [Meduza, April 2, 2022]
Yandex’s top managers spent several hours arguing over whether to meet Putin or not. The founder of the company, Arkady Volozh, was in Israel, and the managing director of the group, Tigran Khudaverdyan, had to go. Colleagues dissuaded him, but he considered it necessary to go.
Yandex still considers this a mistake - less than a month later, Khudaverdyan fell under EU sanctions. [kapital-rus.ru, July 1, 2022]
Some 2,500 Yandex employees who left Russia in recent months are now working from abroad, Yelena Bunina, former Yandex CEO in Russia, told The New York Times. In total, the company has about 19,000 employees.
In "Yandex" you can work in a flexible format - completely remotely, in mixed mode, or from any office or co-working in 20 cities of Russia and the world, a company representative told Forbes. “About 90% continue to work in Russia, and some of the remote ones are engaged in the development of the company’s international projects in the countries of their presence,” he said. [Forbes, July 6, 2022]
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