Russian oligarchs are corporate oligarchs from former Soviet countries who amassed riches quickly in the 1990s as a result of Russian privatization following the Soviet Union’s disintegration.
Due to the contentious ownership of state assets left by the dying Soviet Union, informal transactions with former USSR officials (primarily in Russia and Ukraine) were used to acquire state property. These oligarchs have been linked to the powerful boyar system that formed in late-medieval Muscovy, according to historian Edward L. Keenan.
During Mikhail Gorbachev’s (General Secretary 1985–1991) period of market liberalization, the first contemporary Russian oligarchs emerged as business-sector entrepreneurs. Because Gorbachev’s changes affected a period “when the coexistence of regulated and quasi-market prices presented significant opportunities for arbitrage,” these younger-generation entrepreneurs were able to establish their initial wealth. The word “oligarch” comes from the Ancient Greek word oligarkhia, which means “rule of the few.”
Since 2017, the US has imposed sanctions on many Russian oligarchs and their corporations under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for their support of “Russian government harmful action around the world.”
As a rebuttal to Russia’s war against Ukraine, numerous Russian oligarchs were targeted and sanctioned by governments all around the world in 2022.
How many Russian oligarchs are there?
There are 9 Russian oligarchs. They are;
- Roman Abramovich
- Oleg Deripaska
- Alisher Usmanov
- Vladimir Potanin
- Mikhail Prokhorov
- Gennady Timchenko
- Vagit Alekperov
- Petr Aven
- Arkady Rotenberg