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Animated: Change in Russian Billionaires’ Wealth Since 2022

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Animated: Change in Russian Billionaires’ Wealth Since 2022

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, many countries retaliated with sanctions targeting Russian billionaires—the oligarchs—and politicians directly.

And as the war has progressed, those sanctions have intensified, with even the relatives and shell companies of these billionaires being targeted over time. The reason? These oligarchs are interconnected to Russia’s government, lending vocal and fiscal support in exchange for sweetheart deals or beneficial government oversight.

This animation from James Eagle shows how the estimated net wealth of the 22 wealthiest Russian billionaires on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in April 2023 has changed since January 2022, prior to the start of the conflict.

Net Wealth of Top Russian Billionaires

The 22 wealthiest Russian billionaires in April 20, 2023 lost a collective $90.4 billion in net worth since January 5, 2022.

RankNameMain IndustryNet Wealth
(Apr 20, 2023)
Net Wealth
(Jan 5, 2022)
% Change
1Vladimir PotaninCommodities$29.6B$31.1B -4.8%
2Leonid MikhelsonEnergy$27.2B$33.2B-18.1%
3Vladimir LisinIndustrial$21.5B$28.0B-23.2%
4Vagit AlekperovEnergy$19.1B$22.8B-16.2%
5Alisher UsmanovDiversified$19.1B$21.2B-9.9%
6Alexey MordashovIndustrial$18.1B$29.1B-37.8%
7Mikhail ProkhorovDiversified$14.3B$14.0B2.1%
8Gennady TimchenkoDiversified$13.2B$23.1B-42.9%
9Andrey MelnichenkoIndustrial$12.3B$17.8B-30.9%
10Mikhail FridmanDiversified$12.0B$14.1B-14.9%
11Dmitry RybolovlevDiversified$10.8B$11.2B-3.6%
12Andrey GuryevIndustrial$10.1B$8.0B26.3%
13Victor RashnikovIndustrial$9.1B$14.4B-36.8%
14Suleiman KerimovCommodities$8.9B$15.2B-41.4%
15German KhanDiversified$8.1B$9.6B-15.6%
16Roman AbramovichDiversified$7.7B$18.2B-57.7%
17Viktor VekselbergIndustrial$7.3B$18.6B-60.8%
18Leonid FedunEnergy$7.0B$8.9B-21.3%
19Alexander AbramovIndustrial$6.8B$9.1B-25.3%
20Vyacheslav KantorIndustrial$6.4B$9.1B-29.7%
21Petr AvenDiversified$5.8B$6.6B-12.1%
22Alexey KuzmichevDiversified$5.8B$7.3B-20.5%

The heaviest hit include Viktor Vekselberg, who holds a stake in UC Rusal, the world’s third largest aluminum producer. Since the start of the war, he’s lost an estimated $11.3 billion or 61% of his net worth from January 2022.

Roman Abramovich, who got his start in the early oligarchy through oil conglomerates, was also hit hard by the sanctions. He lost $10.5 billion or 58% of his net worth from January 2022, and was forced to sell Chelsea Football Club in one of the biggest sports team sales in history.

Notably, the richest oligarchs haven’t lost as much. Mining giant Norilsk Nickel’s largest shareholder, Vladimir Potanin, saw his net worth only drop by 4.8%. After being hit hard at the onset of the war in Ukraine, he quickly rebounded and at many times had an even higher net worth, reaching $35.6 billion in June 2022.

And a few oligarchs, like former Norilsk Nickel CEO Mikhail Prokhorov and phosphate-based fertilizer baron Andrey Guryev, saw their wealth increase since January 2022. Guryev grew his net worth by $2 billion or 26%, while Prokhorov (who formerly owned the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets) saw his net worth even out at a gain of $0.3 billion or 2%.

Oligarch Support of Russia (or Lack Thereof)

As Russia’s war with Ukraine has dragged on, and sanctions have continued to weigh on Russian billionaires, politicians, and companies, their effects have been uncertain.

Oligarchs have lost net worth, relinquished foreign businesses, and even had prized possessions like mansions and yachts seized. At the same time, though Russia’s economy has weakened under sanctions, bolstered trade with countries like China, India, and Saudi Arabia have kept it stronger than expected.

And though some oligarchs have voiced various concerns over the ongoing war, the wealthiest have been careful to toe the line. Russian billionaires and politicians that did vocalize criticism, including Lukoil chairman Ravil Maganov, have been found dead in apparent suicides, heart attacks, and accidents.

The most serious oligarch rebellion wasn’t due to economic hardships, but military operations. Oligarch and mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an attempted coup in June 2023, reportedly retreating after support from within Russia’s military quickly fizzled.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Politics

Which Countries Meet NATO’s Spending Target?

In 2023, only 11 member countries reached NATO’s target of spending 2% of their country’s GDP on defense.

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Bar chart showing Nato defense spending by country

Which Countries Meet NATO’s Spending Target?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

In 2006, NATO defense ministers agreed that each member country would commit a minimum of 2% of its GDP to defense spending.

This graphic breaks down which members are keeping the agreement, based on data from NATO as of July 2023.

Poland Leads Ahead of the U.S.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a political and military alliance comprising 31 countries. Its primary purpose is to facilitate cooperation among member nations and ensure mutual defense and security.

In 2023, only 11 member countries were on track to meet NATO’s target of spending 2% of their country’s GDP on defense.

The U.S. accounted for 68% of the total defense expenditures by NATO countries, or $860 billion. This amount is over 10 times more than the second-placed country, Germany, if measured in absolute terms.

However, compared to the country’s GDP, the U.S. appears in second place with spending of 3.5% of GDP, behind Poland’s defense spending of $29.1 billion or 3.9% of GDP.

CountryDefense spending in 2023E (% of GDP)
🇵🇱 Poland*3.9
🇺🇸 United States3.5
🇬🇷 Greece3.0
🇪🇪 Estonia2.7
🇱🇹 Lithuania*2.5
🇫🇮 Finland2.5
🇷🇴 Romania*2.4
🇭🇺 Hungary2.4
🇱🇻 Latvia*2.3
🇬🇧 United Kingdom2.1
🇸🇰 Slovak Republic2.0
🇫🇷 France1.9
🇲🇪 Montenegro1.9
🇲🇰 North Macedonia1.9
🇧🇬 Bulgaria1.8
🇭🇷 Croatia1.8
🇦🇱 Albania1.8
🇳🇱 Netherlands1.7
🇳🇴 Norway1.7
🇩🇰 Denmark1.7
🇩🇪 Germany1.6
🇨🇿 Czechia1.5
🇵🇹 Portugal1.5
🇮🇹 Italy1.5
🇨🇦 Canada1.4
🇸🇮 Slovenia1.4
🇹🇷 Turkiye1.3
🇪🇸 Spain1.3
🇧🇪 Belgium1.1
🇱🇺 Luxembourg0.7

Situated in a crucial geopolitical location in Central Europe, Poland has increased its military spending in recent years, primarily due to concerns about escalating instability along the country’s eastern border with Belarus. According to polls, two-thirds of Poles hold a favorable opinion regarding NATO’s activities.

On the other hand, significant economic and military powers are among the members that are falling short. The list includes France (1.9%), Italy (1.5%), Canada (1.4%), and Germany (1.6%).

Despite being on the 2% list, the U.K. reduced the percentage spent in recent years from 2.14% in 2014 to an estimated 2.07% in 2023.

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