Ukraine-Russia conflict: Here are the top Russian oligarchs hit with EU sanctions

Updated: Mar 04, 2022, 03:53 PM(IST)

The European Union has added top Kremlin-linked oligarchs and Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman to its sanctions blacklist as part of its latest round of punishment over the Ukraine invasion. 

The bloc targetted some of the key moneymen accused of backing Putin's regime in response to his ordering Russian forces into Russia's pro-Western neighbour last week.

Here are some of the top-most oligarchs that have been sanctioned:

Alisher Usmanov

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has had his assets frozen by the European Union following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Following this announcement on Tuesday he said that he would step aside for the moment as President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE).

The 68-year-old oligarch, who has close ties with President Vladimir Putin, contested the punishment in a strongly worded statement posted on the FIE website.

"I believe that such decision is unfair, and the reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honor, dignity and business reputation," he wrote.

"I will use all legal means to protect my honour and reputation.

The EU declaration describes Usmanov as someone with particularly close ties to Putin, it added: "He has been referred to as one of Vladimir Putin's favourite oligarchs.

(Photograph:AFP)

Mikhail Fridman

Mikhail Fridman, one of Russia's richest men, resigned from the board of directors of Amsterdam-listed mobile network operator Veon, following his inclusion in the European Union's sanctions blacklist of Putin's allies.

Veon operates mobile networks in Ukraine and Russia, as well as Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

Although he has cultivated strong ties to Putin's administration, he has never become part of the president's inner circle.

He was one of the founders of Alfa Bank, Russia's largest non-state bank, which is currently headed by Moscow-born Aven, 66. 

According to Forbes, Aven worked at the foreign ministry in Moscow in 1989 and two years later became minister of foreign economic relations following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Igor Sechin

Russian oligarch and government official, Sechin is regarded as a close ally and deputy of Vladimir Putin.

Sechin has been a close adviser to Russian leader Vladimir Putin since the 1990s. In 1994, he was Putin's chief of staff when he was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg and then, when he became president of Russia in 2000, Sechin became his deputy chief of staff, handling security services and energy policies. In 2004, Putin appointed Sechin as chairman of Rosneft, the Russian state oil company.

Keeping in line with the newly imposed sanctions, French customs have seized a yacht belonging to Rosneft boss Igor Sechin as it tried to leave the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat.

(Photograph:AFP)

Nikolay Tokarev

Tokarev is the president of Transneft, a state-owned oil and gas company that transports 90 per cent of the country's oil. In the 1980s, he served alongside Putin in the KGB, and it is believed that he helped seize Russian state assets in the 2000s.  

(Photograph:Twitter)

Alexei Mordashov

Mordashov is the largest shareholder of Russia’s biggest steelmaker Severstal. With an estimated net worth of about $29.1 billion, he is the richest man in Russia and 51st richest in the world, according to Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires.

In justification of its blacklisting of Mordashov, the EU said that the Rossiya Bank, in which he has an interest, has been used by top Russian officials who benefited from Crimea's annexation as a "personal bank". According to reports, he also invested in several pro-Russian media outlets that contributed to destabilising Ukraine.

(Photograph:AFP)

Gennady Timchenko

Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko is the founder and owner of the Volga Group, a private investment firm. Since the early 1990s, Timchenko has been close friends with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

(Photograph:AFP)

Petr Aven

Petr Olegovich Aven, oligarch, businessman, economist and politician heads Alfa-Bank, Russia's largest commercial bank. He is a member of the board of directors at LetterOne Group.

Aven is believed a member of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

(Photograph:AFP)

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