New Russian asset tracker details oligarchs’ mansions and yachts

A nonprofit reporting network launched yesterday the Russian Asset Tracker, a database to track the assets of prominent Russians who have links to Vladimir Putin.
It’s “the most comprehensive public database of oligarch assets to date,” according to the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which collaborated with 27 media outlets to launch the tracker.

The tool is interactive and displays the “vast wealth held outside Russia by oligarchs and key figures close” to the Russian president.

A nonprofit reporting network launched yesterday the Russian Asset Tracker, a database to track the assets of prominent Russians who have links to Vladimir Putin. (AP)

The investigative project uncovered more than 150 assets worth about $17 billion combined, including property, private planes, company stock, yachts, mansions and more.

Journalists discovered these assets by combing through land records, corporate registries and offshore leaks.

“Russia under Vladimir Putin has been controlled by a very small group of people, enablers who keep him in power while benefiting from his patronage system at the expense of the Russian people,” OCCRP Publisher Drew Sullivan said in a press release.

Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich sits in his box before the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge stadium in London
Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich sits in his box before the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge stadium in London. Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

That system has been under fresh scrutiny since Mr Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, as Western governments have sought to freeze Mr Putin and the oligarchs’ overseas assets — and prevent them from travelling.

The goal is two-pronged: Sanctions act as both a punishment for Russia’s ruling class and a cudgel to try to force Mr Putin to back down.

The idea was conceived in February just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the Guardian, which is part of the project.

The project launched with “a list of 35 individuals named last year by the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny as ‘key enablers and beneficiaries of the Kremlin’s kleptocracy.'”

Bermuda-flagged luxury yacht “Solaris” that belongs to Roman Abramovich sails near the Aegean coastal resort of Bodrum, Turkey, Monday, March 21, 2022. A yacht belonging to Chelsea soccer club owner and sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has docked in Turkey’s Aegean Sea resort of Bodrum, Turkish media reports said Monday, amid international moves to freeze assets belonging to top Russian businessmen with close links to the Kremlin. (IHA via AP) (AP)

Just three weeks after the invasion, “27 of those individuals are subject to sanctions in the US and Europe”.

“A further seven have been blacklisted in Canada,” the Guardian wrote.

One of the people on that list of 35 is Roman Abramovich, a 55-year-old worth an estimated $13.5 billion.

Although he has not been sanctioned by the UK and has denied ties to Mr Putin, Mr Abramovich recently announced that he is selling his Chelsea Football Club, which he acquired in 2003.

OCCRP’s database shows he has at least $7 billion worth of assets, including a seaside estate in the posh French Riviera, a Bombardier private jet and several properties scattered throughout London.

Vyacheslav Volodin is the speaker of the State Duma in Russia and a close Putin confidant. (AP)

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Others included in the database are businessman Alisher Usmanov, Igor Sechin (CEO of Russian oil giant Rosneft) and Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire who made his fortune in the aluminium business.

The OCCRP has released other revealing exposés in the past, including a damning report about Credit Suisse that detailed clients that included criminals, alleged human rights abusers and parties facing sanctions. The Swiss bank pushed back on their report.

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