| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Russian billionaires lose $39bn in wealth barely 24 hours after Ukraine attack

The increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine were already putting a strain on the country’s richest citizens.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine, their net worth plummeted. They lost $39 billion in less than 24 hours, which was more than they had lost all year.

The losses were felt across all asset classes. In local currency terms, Russia’s benchmark MOEX Russia Index fell 33% in Moscow, the fifth-worst drop in stock market history.

It was the first time since 1987’s Black Monday meltdown that a market valued more than $50 billion has experienced such a drop.

“There are a lot of individuals in the US and Europe who want to go after them directly,” Chris Miller, co-director of Tufts University’s Fletcher School’s Russia and Eurasia program, said of Russian billionaires. “I don’t believe the sanctions are good news for them.”

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Lukoil chairman Vagit Alekperov’s net worth dropped by roughly a third in a day, going from around $6.2 billion to $13 billion.

On Thursday, the Moscow-based oil producer’s stock fell by almost 33%.

Alexey Mordashov, the chairman of Severstal Steel, lost $4.2 billion, increasing his net worth to $23 billion.

Vladimir Potanin, the president of Norilsk Nickel and Russia’s wealthiest man, lost $3 billion.