Inside Putin's inner circle: Meet the 38 Russian oligarchs cut off by sanctions

·13 min read
Vladimir Putin
Many of these oligarchs have close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • The United States, United Kingdom, and European Union sanctioned numerous Russian oligarchs.

  • These wealthy and powerful figures are alleged to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • The sanctions come in response to Russia's controversial war in Ukraine.

1. Sergei Ivanov: Russia's Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology, and Transport. The former KGB agent was Putin's Chief of Staff from 2011 to 2016 and "one of Putin's closest allies," per the US Treasury department. He has been sanctioned by the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) listens to his Special Envoy on Ecology Sergei Ivanov (L) during a meeting with foreign investors at the 2018 Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) listens to his Special Envoy on Ecology Sergei Ivanov (L) during a meeting with foreign investors at the 2018 Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Source: US Treasury

2. His son, Sergei S. Ivanov: CEO of Alrosa, a state-backed diamond mining company. Alrosa is partially owned by Russia and accounts for 28% of the world's diamond mining capacity. Its sales last year were estimated to total $4.2 billion, according to Statista.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Sergei Ivanov, CEO of the Alrosa diamond mining company, at the Moscow Kremlin.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Sergei Ivanov, CEO of the Alrosa diamond mining company, at the Moscow Kremlin.Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

Source: US Treasury

The company was one of 11 Russian entities subjected to new debt and equity sanctions on Thursday. Alrosa has a market cap of $6.2 billion, according to Forbes, and a US branch headquartered in New York City. Like his father, the younger Ivanov was also sanctioned by the US.

Russian diamond mining company Alrosa's CEO Sergei Ivanov Jr.
Russian diamond mining company Alrosa's CEO Sergei Ivanov Jr.ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Statista, US Treasury, Forbes

3. Nikolai Patrushev: The secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council. Patrushev is a "longtime close associate of Putin," according to the US Treasury. The Russian Federal Security Service is known as the "successor" to the Soviet Union's KGB. He has been sanctioned by the US and the UK.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with the Secretary-General of the Japanese National Security Council.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev during a meeting with the Secretary-General of the Japanese National Security Council.Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Source: US Treasury, BBC, UK

4. Nikolai Patrushev's son: Andrey Patrushev. He was appointed in 2019 as the CEO of Gazprom Neft, Russia's third-largest oil producer. He has been sanctioned by the US.

Andrey Patrushev
Andrey PatrushevGazprom Neft press center

Source: US Treasury, Gazprom Neft

5. Igor Sechin: CEO of Rosneft, one of the world's largest oil companies.

Igor Sechin
Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 2, 2017.REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

Source: US Treasury, EU

The oil baron has been called the second-most powerful man in Russia, after Putin. Sechin has been sanctioned by the US, EU, and the UK.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) looks on Rosneft President Igor Sechin (R) during Russian-Chinese talks at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) looks on Rosneft President Igor Sechin (R).Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Source: US Treasury,

6. His son, Ivan I. Sechin, reportedly a deputy department head at Rosneft. The US has sanctioned the younger Sechin.

Rosneft builds North Bay Port crude oil terminal on eastern coast of Yenisey Gulf in Krasnoyarsk Territory, Russia.
Rosneft builds North Bay Port crude oil terminal on eastern coast of Yenisey Gulf in Krasnoyarsk Territory, Russia.Denis Kozhevnikov\TASS via Getty Images

Source: US Treasury

7. Alexander Vedyakhin: The first deputy chairman of the executive board of Sberbank, the largest financial institution in Russia. Sberbank holds around a third of Russia's bank assets. The US has sanctioned Vedyakhin.

Alexander Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of the Sberbank Executive Board.
Alexander Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of the Sberbank Executive Board.Mikhail Japaridze\TASS via Getty Images

Source: US Treasury

8. Andrey Puchkov: A high-ranking executive at VTB Bank, Russia's second-largest financial institution. Puchkov also has stakes in two Moscow-based real estate companies. He has been sanctioned by the US.

The logo of Russian bank VTB is seen on one of its offices in Moscow.
Russia's VTB bank was listed as one of those targeted by the proposed sanctions, according to Reuters.Kirill Kudryavtsev/Getty Images

Source: US Treasury

9. Yuri Solovyev: The first deputy president-chairman of the board at VTB Bank, which was hit with full-blocking sanctions to "sever a critical artery of Russia's financial system." He has been sanctioned by the US.

Yuri Solovyev, first deputy president-chairman of the Board at VTB Bank, during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and investors.
Yuri Solovyev, first deputy president-chairman of the Board at VTB Bank, during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and investors.Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

Source: US Treasury

10. Galina Ulyutina: Soloviev's ex-wife accused of being involved in a "golden passport scheme" where Russia's elite "pay" for citizenship by investing in a country. Golden passports in the US, Canada, and Europe are now being limited under sanctions against Russia. She has been sanctioned by the US.

Capital One Venture X card on a travel-themed background featuring mini plane, laptop, passport and champagne
Ulyutina is accused of running a "golden passport" scheme.Crystal Cox/Insider

Source: US Treasury

11. Roman Abramovich: The owner of Chelsea Football Club who is worth more than $11 billion. He holds stakes in the Russian steel giant Evraz and Norilsk Nickel.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seen on the stand during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.Getty/Clive Mason

Source: UK, EU

Roman Abramovich is currently ranked as the eighth-richest man in Russia. Last week, the billionaire announced he would sell Chelsea FC and donate the net proceeds to war victims in Ukraine. He has been sanctioned by both the UK and the EU.

Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea smiles following his team's victory during the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea FC
Roman Abramovich is selling Chelsea after almost two decades as owner.Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Source: UK, EU

12. Oleg Deripaska: The billionaire sanctioned by the US in 2018 has stakes in En+ Group. The energy company owns UC Rusal, one of the world's largest aluminum producers. He has been sanctioned by the UK.

Oleg Deripaska
Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska.AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Source: UK

Deripaska, whose net worth is estimated to be around $2 billion, was one of the first Russian oligarchs to speak out against the war on Ukraine on social media. He claimed in a lawsuit that US sanctions have "devastated" his wealth and business reputation.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Oleg Deripaska
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Oleg Deripaska at a 2014 summit.Wang Zhao-Pool/Getty Imgaes

13. Andrey Kostin: Chairman of VTB bank, the second-largest bank in Russia. The UK government described Kostin as a "close associate of Putin" who "has long supported Kremlin objectives." The multi-millionaire has also been sanctioned by the UK and EU.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and VTB Bank president Andrei Kostin talk during a 2020 meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence.
Vladimir Putin and VTB Bank president Andrei Kostin during a 2020 meeting.Alexei Nikolsky\TASS via Getty Images

14. Alexei Miller: CEO of Gazprom, a majority state-owned energy company. The executive served under Putin when he was the mayor of St Petersburg and is "one of the most important executives supporting the Russian Government," per the UK. He has been sanctioned by the UK.

Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller (L) attends a signing ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace April 5, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.
Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller (L) attends a signing ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace April 5, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

15. Nikolai Tokarev: CEO of state-controlled Transneft, the world's largest oil pipeline company. The oligarch served in the KGB alongside Putin and has been sanctioned by the US, the UK, and EU.

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Nikolai Tokarev, chairman of the Board, president at Transneft, during a 2019 meeting.
Nikolai Tokarev in 2019.Alexander Astafyev\TASS via Getty Images

Source: US Treasury

16. Dmitri Lebedev: Chairman of the board of directors at Bank Rossiya, which is "widely considered to be the Kremlin's private bank," per the UK. He has been sanctioned by the UK.

Rossiya Bank headquarters in St Petersburg, Russia.
Rossiya Bank headquarters in St Petersburg, Russia.Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images

Source: UK

17. Alisher Usmanov: The billionaire is "one of Vladimir Putin's favorite oligarchs" with business holdings in the steel giant Metalloinvest and the daily paper Kommersant, per the EU. He has been sanctioned by the EU, UK, and US.

Alisher Usmanov
Alisher Usmanov (R) stands with Vladimir Putin.AP/ Alexei Druzhinin

Source: US Treasury, EU, UK

18. Petr Aven: One of the main shareholders of the Alfa Group, which owns Russia's largest private bank. Aven said he will "vigorously" contest the EU sanctions that claim he is "one of Vladimir Putin's closest oligarchs." He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Alfa Bank Chairman of the Board Petr Aven t the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in 2020.
Alfa Bank Chairman of the Board Petr Aven t the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in 2020.Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

19. Mikhail Fridman: The Alfa Group founder is described by the EU as "a top Russian financier and enabler of Putin's inner circle." He is also contesting the sanctions, which he called "groundless and unfair." He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Mikhail Fridman
Mikhail Fridman in 2018.Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Source: EU, UK

20. Sergei Roldugin: The Russian businessman (and award-winning cellist) is responsible for "shuffling at least $2 billion through banks and offshore companies as a part of Putin's hidden financial network," the EU alleges. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) awards businessman and cellist Sergei Roldugin (R) at the Kremlin in 2016.
Cellist Sergei Roldugin at the Kremlin in 2016.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

21. Alexander Ponomarenko: The Chairman of the board of Sheremetyevo International Airport, described by the EU as an oligarch close to "other oligarchs associated with Vladimir Putin." He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Sheremetyevo International Airport Board Chairman Alexander Ponomarenko.
Sheremetyevo International Airport Board Chairman Alexander Ponomarenko.Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

22. Gennady Timchenko: Owner of Volga Group, a private investment group, and a shareholder of Bank Rossiya. The EU says he is "broadly described as one of Putin's confidants." He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Gennady Timchenko
Volga Group owner Gennady Timchenko.REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Source: EU, UK

23. Alexei Mordaschov: The billionaire chairman of Severstal and Severgroup is often cited as the richest man in Russia. The EU sanctions list alleges he benefits "from his links with Russian decision-makers," while Mordaschov says he has "absolutely nothing to do with the current geopolitical tensions." He has been sanctioned by EU.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and Severstal Board Chairman Alexei Mordashov during a 2018 meeting in Moscow.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and Severstal Board Chairman Alexei Mordashov during a 2018 meeting in Moscow.Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images

Source: EU

24. Petr Fradkov: Chairman of Russia's state-owned bank PJSC Promsvyazbank, which "provides financial support to the Russian defense sector and the Russian Military," per the EU sanctions list. He has been sanctioned by the EU.

Pyotr Fradkov (R), and Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev talk during a meeting in 2019.
Pyotr Fradkov in 2019.Yekaterina Shtukina\TASS via Getty Images

Source: EU

25. German Khan: A main Alpha Group shareholder. The EU labeled Kahn as an "oligarch close to Vladimir Putin" who is "believed to be one of the most influential persons in Russia." He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

The logo of Alfa Bank
The logo of Alfa Bank in 2021.KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

26. Viktor Rashnikov: Chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the committee for strategic planning of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, one of Russia's biggest taxpayers. The EU describes Rashnikov as a "leading Russian oligarch." He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works
The logo for the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works.Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

27. Alexey Kuzmichev: A main shareholder of the Alfa Group. According to the EU, this oligarch shares a "close" relationship with Putin. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

alfa group
An Alfa building in Ukraine.Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Source: EU

28. Alexander Mikheev: CEO of JSC Rosoboronexport. Rosoboronexport is Russia's sole state-sponsored intermediary "for the export and import of military and dual-use products, technologies and services," according to the EU. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

ROSOboronexport
A ROSOboronexport logo photographed in 2017.Geem Drake/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Image

Source: EU, UK

29. Alexander Shokhin: President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a lobby group for Russian business interests. The EU describes him as "a member of the inner circle of oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin" as well as a supporter of "actions or policies which undermine or threaten" Ukraine. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) gives the award to Chairman of RSPP Alexander Shokhin (L) during the plenary session of the 30th Congress of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) at the State Kremlin Palace, on December 17, 2021 in Moscow, Russia. Representatives of Russia's biggest business lobby gathered at the Kremlin for an annual congress.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) gives the award to Chairman of RSPP Alexander Shokhin (L) in 2021.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

30. Andrey Ryumin: Executive director of Rosseti PJSC. Rosseti is a state-controlled energy grid operator. Ryumin has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Rosseti
A Rosseti logo photographed in 2018.KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

31. Armen Gasparyan: A publicist and member of "Russia Today" board. The EU described this oligarch as a "propagandist" who runs a show called "Nablyudenye" for Russian state-owned media outlet Sputnik, where he "consistently propagated narratives in line with the Kremlin's propaganda." He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Russian historian Armen Gasparyan
Armen Gasparyan presenting his book in 2017.MAXIM ZMEYEV/AFP via Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

32. Artyom, or Artem, Sheynin: A presenter of the state-controlled Russian talk show "Vremya Pokazhet." The EU labeled Sheynin as a "propagandist." He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

russian russia flag
A person holds a Russian flag.Fadel Itani/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

33. Konstantin Ernst: CEO of Channel One Russia, which the EU says "has been used for propaganda purposes by the Russian authorities for many years." He has been sanctioned by the EU.

Konstantin Ernst
Channel One Russia CEO Konstantin Ernst.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Source: EU

34. Marina Sechina: Igor Sechin's former wife. According to the EU, Sechina "has used connections with various actors in the Russian government and Russian business structures, including with her former husband, for personal benefit." She has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

igor sechin and vladimir putin
Igor Sechin and Vladimir Putin in 2019.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

35. Suleyman Kerimov: Owner of Nafta Moscow, a major financial and industrial group in Russia. The EU estimates that the businessman, who is reportedly worth around $9.8 billion, works in concert with Putin ally Sergei Roldugin. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Suleyman Kerimov
Suleyman Kerimov.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

36. Tigran Khudaverdyan: Executive director of Russian machine learning firm Yandex. The EU cited a whistleblower who claimed that Yandex is participating in a scheme to keep Russians in the dark about the true nature of the war in Ukraine. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the UK.

Tigran Khudaverdyan
Tigran Khudaverdyan in 2021.Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Source: EU, UK

37. Vladimir Rashevsky, also known as Vladimir Valeryevich Rashevskiy: CEO of EuroChem Group AG, which the EU describes as one of the world's biggest mineral fertilizer firms. According to the EU, the company cooperates "with Russian authorities, including Vladimir Putin" and does extensive business in Crimea. He has been sanctioned by the EU.

Vladimir Rashevsky
Vladimir Rashevsky in 2018.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Source: EU

38. Dmitry Kulikov: A film producer and TV presenter who serves as an expert of the RF State Duma committee on CIS affairs and relations with compatriots. The EU describes Kulikov as a "pro-Kremlin propagandist" with a history of making comments "in line with the Kremlin's narrative on the situation in Donbas region." He has been sanctioned by the EU.

kremlin
A shot of the Kremlin in Moscow from 2020.YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images

Source: EU

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