Profile

Who are the Russian oligarchs facing UK sanctions?

Boris Johnson has announced measures against a string of Kremlin-linked billionaires

Boris Johnson has announced further sanctions against two Russian billionaires with close links to Vladimir Putin in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

They join a string of oligarchs targeted due to their close ties to the Kremlin and long-standing relationships with the Russian president. The prime minister has said all of those targeted by the government will have their assets in the UK frozen and will face a travel ban.

Successive UK governments have been criticised for allowing “dirty money” linked to Russia to flow into London. But faced with Russian aggression, an ally of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told The Telegraph that the government intends to make the capital city’s oligarchs “squeal”. Here are the figures currently facing UK sanctions.

1

Igor Shuvalov

The chairman of a Russian state-owned development bank, Igor Shuvalov is a former Russian deputy prime minister and a one-time aide to Putin. In parliament, Keir Starmer accused Shuvalov of being one of Putin’s “cronies” who “dipped their hands in the blood of Putin’s war”,  The Guardian reported.

According to Sky News, Shuvalov’s two London flats are worth £11.4m and his “lavish lifestyle” includes private jets to transport his wife and her corgis to shows and dog contests across Europe.

2

Alisher Usmanov

Born in Uzbekistan, Usmanov was once jailed for six years on fraud charges but has since bought stakes in several Premier League football clubs. The billionaire is on the EU sanctions list, which named him as “one of Vladmir Putin’s favourite oligarchs”. But he rejected this description, accusing the EU of “false and defamatory allegations”.

With a net worth of around $18.4bn (£13.8bn), he owns a £10m mansion in Surrey and a £48m house in the capital, said Sky News. He also boasts the world’s largest superyacht by gross tonnage. Reports suggested that the yacht, valued at $600m according to The Guardian, was seized in Germany this week, though the BBC said authorities have denied this.

3

Denis Bortnikov

Bortnikov’s father, Alexander, was a member of the KGB and has been the director of Russia’s intelligence service, the Federal Security Service, since 2008. Bortnikov senior is considered one of Putin’s most loyal aides.

It is believed that it is this family tie that led to the sanctioning of Denis, who is the deputy president of the Russian state-owned VTB bank and sits on the compensations committee of the bank’s board of directors.

4

Kirill Shamalov

A former adviser to the Moscow government, Russia’s youngest billionaire has previously faced sanctions from the US after he bought a stake in Russian petrochemical company Sibur at the age of 26.

Another figure with close familial ties to the regime, he is the son of Rossiya Bank shareholder Nikolai Shamalov, a good friend of Putin, and was previously married to Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova.

5

Pyotr (Petr) Fradkov

The chairman and CEO of Promsvyazbank, Fradkov held work meetings with Putin as he turned the bank into a key supporter of the Russian defence industry. The lender now oversees 70% of state contracts by the Russian Defence Ministry.

He is also the son of Mikhail Fradkov, an ex-PM of Russia and former director of the Foreign Intelligence Service.

6

Yury Slyusar

Slyusar is general director at the United Aircraft Corporation, one of the defence giants that is being hit with an asset freeze. 

Last summer, he boasted that a new Russian warplane his firm was manufacturing was set to take to the skies in 2023, while The Mirror said his meteoric rise has “caught the eye of many in Moscow”.

7

Elena Aleksandrovna Georgieva

Born in Moscow in 1977, she studied world economics at the Russian State University for the Humanities and graduated in 1999, according to the Daily Mail.

Her ties to the arms industry have brought her under renewed scrutiny since the invasion of Ukraine. She is the former director of treasury at the Rostec group and is now CEO of Novikombank, which bankrolls the defence giant that exports more than £10bn of arms a year.

8

Gennady Timchenko

The billionaire, who owns the private investment group Volga and has stakes in various Russian businesses, has been friendly with Putin for decades. He was sanctioned by the US in 2014.

With a reported net worth of $23.5bn (£17.3bn), he is now accused by the UK government of action that “undermines or threatens the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine”.

9

Boris Rotenberg

Another man with long-standing ties with Putin, the banker has known the president since childhood and has played judo and ice hockey with him. Rotenberg is accused by London of profiting from supporting the Russian government through his role at SMP Bank, of which he is a co-owner with his brother Arkady.

10

Igor Rotenberg

Igor Rotenberg controls the drilling company Gazprom Bureniye and enjoys a personal fortune of $1.1bn, according to Forbes.

He is the son of billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, brother of Boris Rotenberg and a close friend of Putin. When Washington imposed sanctions against his father in 2014, Rotenberg bought his father’s stakes in some assets. Announcing his sanctioning, the UK government noted his “close familial ties to President Putin”.

11

Kirill Dmitriev

Washington regards Dmitriev as “among the Russian elite” and a “close associate” of Putin. His wife, Natalia Popova, is said to be a close friend of Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova.

He is the boss of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a multibillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund that supports the Russian economy. The Financial Times previously described his role there as making the Russian economy less dependent on petrol by “overcoming western funds’ reluctance to invest in a country many viewed as corrupt”.

Recommended

What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox virus
Fact file

What is monkeypox?

The favourites to replace Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid
In Depth

The favourites to replace Boris Johnson

The UK’s new ‘jubilee cities’
Stanley in the Falkland Islands has won city status
Why we’re talking about . . .

The UK’s new ‘jubilee cities’

Who are the UK’s richest people?
Sri and Gopi Hinduja pictured in 2007
In Focus

Who are the UK’s richest people?

Popular articles

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: the guesthouse tipped to be Prince William and Kate’s new home

Caroline Watt: where is Rebekah Vardy’s missing agent?
Rebekah Vardy arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice
Profile

Caroline Watt: where is Rebekah Vardy’s missing agent?

The Week Footer Banner