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Majority of Russian billionaires see wealth increase in 2023, Bloomberg index shows

The ranking shows 25 Russian billionaires among the world’s 500 most affluent, with a combined wealth increase of $38.575 bn in 2023, despite only three seeing a decrease
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov. Credit: TASS

The personal fortunes of Russia’s ultra-rich have expanded markedly, even as most oligarchs endure Western sanctions tied to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Bloomberg’s latest Billionaires Index.

The Bloomberg list of the world’s 500 most affluent people includes 25 Russian billionaires, with the majority seeing net worth jumps in 2023 rather than declines.

Six Russians currently rank among the top 100 billionaires globally, led by Vladimir Potanin (No. 47), Leonid Mikhelson (No. 52), Vagit Alekperov (No. 62) and Vladimir Lisin (No. 72), Alisher Usmanov (No. 82) and Alexei Mordashov (No. 88) – each richer by over $2 billion this year.

In total, Russian elite wealth has climbed $38.575 billion since 1 January, per the index. Only three billionaires’ wealth dropped, contrasting with widespread economic stagnation domestically.

The gains compound estimations that Russian oligarchs have enabled President Vladimir Putin’s war effort through steel and weapons production as well as other defense industry support.

In August, LRT reported that at least 82 Russian oligarchs are linked to the Russian army’s business operations or contribute to supporting the war in Ukraine.

Bloomberg’s No. 72 billionaire Vladimir Lisin reportedly supplied steel used in Russian nuclear munitions in 2022.

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