Russia has been forever known for the riches it keeps. Along with the bounties of nature that include numerous natural zones, amazing arctic deserts, transfixing tundra and taiga regions, broadleaved forests, mixed forests, semi-deserts, steppes, and deserts, Russia is equally blessed with billionaires.
The world’s largest country is also distinguished for being home to the wealthiest with Moscow comprising around 70 billionaires, next only to New York and Hong Kong. However, none of them are born rich, as you may say. Most of them have to steer hard to amass the fortune that they now boast of!
Here’s introducing you to the top 15 of the wealthiest people of Russia and a glimpse of their journeys:
Suleiman Kerimov & family
Mikhail Maratovich Fridman
Primary shareholder and Chairman of Severstal
Net Worth: $29.1 BILLION
Industry: Mining, metals, energy.
Alexey Alexandrovich Mordashov or simply called Alexey Mordashov is billed as the richest person in Russia, as per the latest 2021 list of Forbes magazine. Mordashov is the chairman of Severstal along with being the main shareholder of the company.
Severstal is one of the biggest Russian conglomerates with a diverse range of interests, mainly focused on metal, mining, and energy. Furthermore, Mordashov has also been the co-owner of Rossiya bank, 50% shareholder of Tele2 Russia, and also holds a quarter of the total shares of Power Machines, Russian energy systems machine-building company.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index dated 9 April 2021, Mordashov is estimated to have a personal net worth of US$25.8 billion. This makes him the fourth-richest person in Russia, whereas Forbes declared him the richest Russian in the world, taking his family assets into consideration.
Mordashov was born to two Soviet steel mill workers on 26 September 1965, in Cherepovets, RSFSR, USSR (present-day Russia). He graduated from the Leningrad Engineering-Economical Institute, which is now known as ENGECON, with a bachelor's degree. Later on, he went for an MBA from Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and completed it in 2001.
Chairman and the largest stakeholder of Interros
Net Worth: $27 BILLION
Industry: Mining, Metals, Energy, Finance, and more.
Vladimir Potanin is known as the wealthiest man in Russia, next only to Alexey Mordashov according to Forbes. Bloomberg Billionaires Index deems him to be the 44th richest person in the world. This accumulation of wealth of Potanin, now distinguished as an oligarch, can be traced to the controversial “loans for shares” scheme.
Potanin is the chairman and the largest stakeholder of Interros. The company primarily deals with mining, metals, energy, finance, real estate, retail industry, and more. Furthermore, he is also the main investor of a private equity firm that owns the data solutions provider, ByteGrid.
Potanin is estimated to possess a net worth of around $27 billion, as per the Forbes 2021 list of Russian billionaires. In January 2018, Potanin also featured as one among 209 other individuals who are closely associated with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, according to the US Treasury’s “Putin list”.
A major portion of Potanin’s wealth is now parked in the 35% stake he holds in Nornickel, a Russian mining company that is also known as the world’s largest producer of palladium and among the largest producers of nickel, platinum, and copper.
Vladimir Potanin was born in a high-ranking communist family of Moscow, the former USSR on 3 January 1961. He was a student of International economic relations at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and followed his father’s way to join FTO "Soyuzpromexport" with the Ministry of Foreign trade of the Soviet Union.
Chairman of Novolipetsk Steel
Net worth: $26.2 BILLION
Industry: Steel, Transport and logistics
Vladimir Lisin is counted as the third richest billionaire in Russia according to both Forbes Magazine and Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He serves as the chairman and holds the majority of the stakes of Novolipetsk. Novolipetsk is one of the largest steel companies in Russia and counted as one of the top 4 Russian steel companies. Lisin has published over 100 articles on economics and metallurgy, which includes 15 monographs.
Lisin’s business interests mainly focus on transportation and logistics along with steel. He is noted as a board member of some Russian metal producers, which includes NLMK, MMK and Sayansk, and Novokuznetsk Aluminium Plants. He also worked at the Karaganda Steel Plant, one of the four largest steel plants of Kazakhstan, as the deputy chief engineer and deputy general director.
Vladimir Lisin was born on 7 May 1956 in Ivanovo, Soviet Union. He got his first job in 1975 as a mechanic in a Soviet coal mine after which he went on to earn a diploma in metallurgical engineering from the Siberian Metallurgic Institute in 1979. He also completed his Postgraduate study in UKRNIIMET by correspondence and eventually received an MSc in Metal Engineering from the Central Research Institute of ferrous metallurgy, Moscow.
President of LUKOIL
Net Worth: $24.9 Billion
Vagit Yusufovich Alekperov is a businessman of Azerbaijani-Russian descent, who is presently noted as the 4th richest Russian billionaire. Bloomberg Billionaires Index lists him as the 5th wealthiest person in Russia and 94th richest person in the world. Along with being the President of LUKOIL, one of the chief oil companies of Russian, Alekperov is also known as the Chairman of the supervisory board of Basic Element Company.
Alekperov was born on 1 September 1950, Baku, Azerbaijan SSR to an Azerbaijani Muslim father, whereas his mother belonged to a Russian Orthodox family. Following his father’s footsteps, he was an oilman throughout his life, starting as a drilling operator.
He graduated from the Azerbaijan Oil and Chemistry Institute in 1974 and later on was promoted as the deputy head, first deputy general director, and general director in a range of companies he worked for. Alekperov was also appointed as the deputy minister of the Oil and Gas Industry of the Soviet Union, being the youngest deputy energy minister in the history of the Soviet Union.
Later on, he established Lukoil in the 1990s where he still retains around 30% of the shares of the Russian oil giant.
CEO, Chairman, and a major shareholder of Novatek
Net Worth: $24.9 Billion
Industry: Oil and gas.
Leonid Viktorovich Mikhelson is popularly known as the CEO, Chairman, and distinguished stakeholder of Novatek and the 5th richest person in Russian. Bloomberg Billionaires Index announces that his net worth is close to $24.9 billion and grants him as the 48th richest man in the world.
Mikhelson was born to an Ashkenazi Jewish family. After graduating with Industrial Civil Engineering from the Samara Institute of Civil Engineering in 1977, he started his career as an engineer.
He began his career as a foreman at a construction and assembling company operating in the Tyumen area of Siberia. Eventually, Mikheson became the Chief Engineer of Ryazantruboprovodstroy and the General Director of Kuibishevtruboprovodstroy, which was later renamed to NOVA, where he served as a Managing Director. Furthermore, he also became the General Director of its holding company Novafinivest, which was renamed to Novatek, as it is now known as!
Founder and owner of Volga Group
Net worth: $22 BILLION
Industry: Transport and energy
Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko is primarily known as a Russian oligarch. He is one of the famous billionaire businessmen of Russia and credited as the founder and owner of Volga Group, which focuses on energy, transport, and infrastructural assets. Timchenko was previously the co-owner of Gunvor Group and also appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kontinental Hockey League.
Born in Leninakan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union, on 9 November 1952 to a Soviet military father, he holds the citizenship of Finland, Armenia, and Russia. Timchenko learned German because of his 6 years' stay in the German Democratic Republic.
He graduated from the Mechanical Institute of Saint Petersburg, previously called Leningrad, with electrical engineering and started his career as an engineer. Later on, he was promoted to senior engineer, deputy director and also co-founded Gunvor before he founded Volga Group.
Owner of MegaFon and USM Holdings.
Net Worth: $18.4 BILLION
Industry: Metal, Mining, Telecom, and investments
Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov is known as one of the prominent Russian oligarchs, owner of MegaFon, USM Holdings, and a chief stakeholder of Metalloinvest. His primary business interests revolve around mining, metals, and the telecommunication industry.
Usmanov is also known as the owner of the Kommersant publishing house, co-owner of the Mail.Ru group, one of the largest internet companies in the world, and the chief investor of Digital Sky Technologies ("DST") funds.
Born on 9 September 1953 in Chust, Usmanov was originally based out of Uzbekistan. His father was a state prosecutor but Usmanov always wanted to be a diplomat. Usmanov took his admissions in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations from where he graduated in 1976 with a degree in international law.
The primary beneficiary of the EuroChem Group and SUEK
Net worth: $17.9 Billion
Industry: Coal and fertilizers
Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko is a Russian industrialist and philanthropist, whom Forbes declares as the 8th wealthiest person in Russia with a net worth of $17.9 Billion, according to Forbes as well Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Along with being the primary beneficiary of EuroChem Group, Melnichenko is also the Member of the Board of Directors for both companies.
Melnichenko was born on 8 March 1972 in Gomel, Byelorussian SSR to parents who were teachers. He attended the Advanced Education and Science Centre, which is affiliated with the Lomonosov Moscow State University.
He became a student of the Faculty of Physics at Moscow State University later on in 1989. However, he again transferred to the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, finally graduating in finance.
His entrepreneurial ventures started from his college days where he established several currency exchange booths that ultimately got the legal sanction in the form of MDM Bank after it gained the license from the Bank of Russia. Later on, he served as the majority stakeholder of EuroChem and the director of SUEK.
Founder of VK and the Telegram Messenger
Net worth: $17.2 BILLION
Industry: Social media, Telegram.
Pavel Valerievich Durov is an entrepreneur from Russia, who is best known as the founder of VK, a social networking website and the Telegram Messenger. He is also prominently known as the Zuckerberg of Russia, for his foundational venture of VK. Pavel Durov is also counted among the top 10 richest people from Russia with assets close to $17.2 billion as per the latest Forbes list of billionaires 2021.
Durov's father Valery Semenovich Durov is a Doctor of Philological Sciences, the author of many scientific papers, and since 1992 he has been head of the department of classical philology of the philological faculty of Saint Petersburg State University.
Pavel Durov was born to Valery Semenovich Durov and Albina Durova on 10 October 1984, in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. His father was the Doctor of Philological Sciences and the HOD of Classical Philology at the Saint Petersburg University.
Durov graduated with a first-class degree in Philology from the Saint Petersburg State University. Soon after he graduated, Durov founded VKontakte (VK) in 2006, which was initially influenced by Facebook and obtained a major success. He continued to serve as the CEO of the company until 21 April 2014, when he was dismissed and soon after that he founded Telegram.
Suleiman Kerimov & family
Businessman, Politician, and Philanthropist
Net Worth: $15.8 Billion
Suleyman Abusaidovich Kerimov is distinguished as a billionaire businessman of Russia and counted as one of the top 10 richest persons living in Russia. According to the latest estimation, Forbes declared that the total assets of Kerimov amount to $15.8 Billion.
Kerimov has represented the Republic of Dagestan in the Federation Council of Russia since 2008. In April 2018, he was placed under sanctions by the Treasury department of the United States. Kerimov was eventually appointed as the head of Soyuz-Finans and made strategic investments with Nafta Moskva, Gazprom, Sberbank, JSC Polymetal, and other organizations to amass the wealth he now possesses. Though his investment banks got a major hit in 2008, he betted on Polyus Gold to bring back his fortune.
Suleiman Kerimov was born on 12 March 1966, Derbent, Dagestan, USSR, and was a student in the Civil Engineering Department at Dagestan Polytechnic Institute, from where he graduated in 1984. After completing a brief military service for the Soviet Army Kerimov acquired a degree in financial accounting and economics in 1989.
He was appointed as the Deputy Chairman of DSU's Trade Union Committee while he was studying. It was at the same university that Kerimov first met his wife, Firuza.
Mikhail Maratovich Fridman
Co-founder of Alfa-Group
Net Worth: $15.5 Billion
Industry: Oil, gas, banking, and finance
Mikhail Maratovich Fridman is a popular Russian business magnate and the co-founder of the Alfa-Group, an MNC Russian conglomerate. Forbes declared Fridman as the seventh richest Russian back in 2017, however, he ranks 11th now as per the 2021 Forbes list of Russian Billionaires.
Mikhail Maratovich Fridman was born on 21 April 1964 in Lviv, Ukraine, USSR where he spent most of his youth while still in Lviv, he graduated from high school in 1980.
After he was denied entrance to Moscow’s top physics colleges because of his Jewish ancestry, he went to attend the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys. Fridman worked on a range of jobs including washing windows during his college days, after which he started his career as a metallurgical design engineer. Fridman founded a window-washing business in 1988.
He kept expanding his business by opening a rental agency, computer selling company, and more and eventually co-founded Alfa-Photo, which became a major hit, growing to Alfa Group Consortium later on. Furthermore, in 1991 Fridman co-founded Alfa-Bank, which is still noted as one of the largest among the private banks in Russia.
Net Worth: $14.5 Billion
Industry - Investment
Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich is a billionaire businessman and politician of Russian-Israeli descent. Forbes placed him in the 11th position while ascertaining the richest Russian billionaires in 2021, with a net worth close to $14.5 billion. Abramovich features as the 113th richest person in the world according to the latest Bloomberg list of billionaires.
Abramovich is known as the chief owner of Millhouse LLC, a private Russian investment company and outside Russia, Abramovich is popular as the owner of the football club, Chelsea F.C. He was also appointed as the Governor of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug between 2000 and 2008.
Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich was born on 24 October 1966 to a Jewish family, originally from Tauragė, Lithuania. However, after losing his parents when he was only 4 years old, Abramovich was raised in Russia by his relatives. Though his critics label him as an oligarch, Abramovich is well-known for his massive donations for the construction of schools, hospitals, and infrastructures in Chukotka.
CEO and Founder of Wildberries
Net worth: $13 Billion
Tatyana Vladimirovna Bakalchuk is primarily known as the founder and CEO of Wildberries, the largest online retailing brand of Russia, and grew to be a self-made billionaire, being the first such woman in Russia.
Tatyana Bakalchuk was born in Moscow Oblast, the Soviet Union on 16 October 1975 and graduated from Kolomna University. She began her career as an English teacher and founded Wildberries in 2004, while on maternity leave. The company was valued at $1 billion in 2019, which made her the richest woman in Russia.
Former owner of Brooklyn Nets, Former
Net worth: $11.4 Billion
Industry: Businessman, Politician
Mikhail Dmitrievitch Prokhorov is one of the prominent Russian billionaires along with being a noted politician. He is also known as the former owner of the Brooklyn Nets, a professional basketball team based out of Brooklyn.
Prokhorov was born in Moscow on 3 May 1965 to Tamara and Dmitri Prokhorov. He graduated from the Moscow Finance Institute and went on to work in the financial sector. Prokhorov eventually emerged as one of the leading Russian industrialists, with a majority of stakes in the precious metals sector across a range of multinational corporations.
He partnered with Potanin to acquire a significant portion of shares of Norilsk Nickel, which eventually became the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium. Prokhorov is also known as the former chairman of Polyus Gold, and the former President of Onexim Group but resigned from both positions to enter politics in June 2011. Forbes’ latest list of Russian billionaires estimates Prokhorv’s net worth to be around $11.4 Billion.
Prokhorov contested as an independent candidate in the 2012 Russian presidential election and was third in the voting. In June 2012, he founded his new Russian political party, Civic Platform.
Chairman of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works
Net worth: $11.2 Billion
Industry: Metal, Steel
Viktor Filippovich Rashnikov is an oligarch and counted among the top 15 of Russia's richest people. Most of his wealth can be attributed to the privatization of Russia as an immediate aftermath of the Soviet Union, which dissolved in the 1990s. Furthermore, he also made his wealth with the majority stakes that he holds of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, one of the largest steel producers in the world.
He is also the owner of Ocean Victory, a superyacht that was the 10th largest yacht in the world when it was constructed in 2014.
Rashnikov started his career as a fitter in 1967 in the repair shop of the Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) in the company's repair shop and after which Rashnikov never looked back.
He held numerous management positions of MMK and gradually moved up the company’s hierarchy, including the post of the Head of Production and Products Supply until 1991, when he was finally made Chief Engineer and First Deputy General Director for the firm. He rose to the rank of General Director at MMK in 1997 and was finally appointed as the Chairman of the Board in 2005, a designation he still retains.
Rashnikov was born on October 13, 1948, in Magnitogorsk, USSR (now in Russia). He went to the Magnitogorsk Institute of Mining and Metallurgy to complete his bachelor’s degree in 1974. Furthermore, he got another degree in the Organization of Production Administration, when he graduated from that program in 1994.
Rashnikov received his doctorate, which he aimed for, in Technical Sciences in 1998. He was also appointed as an Honored Professor at the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys in 2002. Rashnikov still holds a position at the Russian Academy of Quality Problems as an Academician.
How many billionaires live in Moscow?
There are approximately 68 billionaires in Moscow, Russia.
Which country has most billionaires 2020?
United states has most number of billionaires according to Forbes.
How many billionaires are there in Russia?
There are approximately 101 billionaires in Russia.
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