All the pres­i­dent’s men? Six oli­garchs al­leged to have helped keep Vladimir Putin in power

Pow­er­ful Rus­sians who are be­ing tar­geted fol­low­ing the ex­pul­sion of Rus­sian diplo­mats from Bri­tain

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Bill Gard­ner and Con Cough­lin

THE list of six oli­garchs al­leged to have helped prop up the Putin regime, drawn up by Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence ser­vices and sub­mit­ted to Theresa May, marks a new phase in this mod­ern cold war with Rus­sia.

Af­ter ex­pelling Rus­sian diplo­mats from Bri­tain, in the process dis­man­tling the Krem­lin’s spy net­work in this coun­try, the in­tel­li­gence ser­vices are now go­ing af­ter the oli­garchs. The plan is to dis­rupt their move­ments and busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties both in the UK and among al­lies in Europe and the US.

Ro­man Abramovich

He came to promi­nence when he bought Chelsea Foot­ball Club for £140 mil­lion in 2003, trans­form­ing the Lon­don team into one of the world’s big­gest clubs, win­ning the Cham­pi­ons League and the Premier league.

The 52-year-old made his money (he is said to be worth £9.3bil­lion) trad­ing in oil and gas af­ter the col­lapse of the Soviet Union. He is said to have helped Vladimir Putin win the Rus­sian pres­i­dency, while wield­ing sig­nif­i­cant po­lit­i­cal power in the Krem­lin. He re­port­edly owns three homes in Lon­don and was in­stru­men­tal in win­ning Rus­sia’s World Cup bid. He was gover­nor of the au­ton­o­mous re­gion of Chukotka un­til 2008. When his UK visa ex­pired, the Gov­ern­ment de­layed re­new­ing it. He took up Is­raeli cit­i­zen­ship to cir­cum­vent the visa block though it’s un­clear when he last vis­ited the UK. His sources in­sist he is not part of Putin’s in­ner cir­cle.

Oleg Deri­paska

Aged 50 and worth about £5bil­lion, Mr Deri­paska first hit the head­lines in Bri­tain in 2008 over a con­tro­ver­sial meet­ing in Corfu with Ge­orge Os­borne and Peter Man­del­son on his su­pery­acht.

His US visa was re­voked in 2006 over his al­leged links to or­gan­ised crime, links he has al­ways re­but­ted.

Last year the US Trea­sury an­nounced sanc­tions against him, ac­cus­ing him of “act­ing on be­half of a se­nior fig­ure in the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment” in the run-up to the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tions.

Mr Deri­paska holds reg­u­lar meet­ings with Putin, in­vested heav­ily in Rus­sia’s 2014 Sochi Win­ter Olympics and has said his own in­ter­ests are in­di­vis­i­ble from the state’s. Deri­paska owns Lon­don-based EN+, an en­ergy firm chaired by Tory peer Lord Barker of Bat­tle. It is re­port­edly un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by US Congress for links to Rus­sia’s in­tel­li­gence agen­cies.

Arkady and Boris Roten­berg

The Roten­berg broth­ers are of­ten de­scribed as bankers to Mr Putin’s in­ner cir­cle. They are co-owners of the Stroygaz­mon­tazh group, the largest pipe­line com­pany in Rus­sia. Arkady Roten­berg has known Putin since he was 12, when the pair joined the same martial arts club in St Peters­burg. Arkady, 66, worth £2bil­lion, was Putin’s judo spar­ring partner.

The broth­ers are sub­ject to sanc­tions from the EU and US over ac­tiv­i­ties linked to the Rus­sian an­nex­a­tion of Crimea. The EU said Arkady had been “favoured by Rus­sian de­ci­sion mak­ers in the award of im­por­tant con­tracts by the Rus­sian state”.

Boris Roten­berg, 61, an­other judo ex­pert, was in­volved in a num­ber of projects for the Sochi win­ter Olympics.

Arkady has owned prop­erty in Lon­don and in Sur­rey, where his ex-wife lives. He fought un­suc­cess­fully in the Bri­tish courts to keep de­tails of their di­vorce se­cret. in­cluded trips to Royal As­cot, on so­cial me­dia.

Igor Sechin

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of oil gi­ant Ros­neft has been called Rus­sia’s Darth Vader and is widely con­sid­ered the coun­try’s sec­ond most pow­er­ful man. A for­mer KGB of­fi­cial, he is thought to be the mas­ter­mind of Moscow’s en­ergy strat­egy. Once Putin’s sec­re­tary, he oc­cu­pies a place in the in­ner cir­cle. In 2014 he was black­listed by the US Trea­sury over his close links to Putin. His power-base is the state-con­trolled Ros­neft, which he has led since 2004 and built into one of the world’s largest oil com­pa­nies. The Economist said Mr Sechin “epit­o­mises Rus­sia’s nexus be­tween po­lit­i­cal power and prop­erty”.

Ros­neft is listed on the Lon­don Stock Ex­change, and is 20 per cent owned by BP, whose CEO re­port­edly sits on a board chaired by Sechin.

Alisher Us­manov

Alisher Us­manov made his £9.6bil­lion for­tune in met­als, min­ing and tele­coms. He was part-owner of Arse­nal FC un­til he agreed to sell his £550mil­lion stake ear­lier this year. Last year he won a li­bel case against a Putin critic who ac­cused him of brib­ing Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister. He re­leased an an­gry video end­ing with the words: “I spit on you” aimed at Alexei Navalny, Mr Putin’s arch critic, who had made the claims.

Sources close to Mr Us­manov, who was born in Uzbekistan, in­sist he has no po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions and is sim­ply a busi­ness­man.

He owns prop­erty in the UK but sources say he has no busi­ness in­ter­ests here. Re­ports de­scribe him as a close friend of the Rus­sian pres­i­dent.

The plan is to dis­rupt their move­ments and busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties in the UK and among al­lies

Abramovich man­aged to cir­cum­vent the visa block though it’s un­clear when he last vis­ited here

Alisher Us­manov and Vladimir Putin

Boris Roten­berg and his wife Ka­rina

Oleg Deri­paska

Igor Sechin

Ro­man Abramovich

Arkady Roten­berg

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