Many of the world's richest billionaires are Russian. In fact, there are 88 billionaires in Russia. Most of them earned their fortunes through the metal, oil, and finance industries as well as the privatization of Russian companies. Some, like Roman Abromovich and Mikhail Prokhorov, have used their billions to become owners of celebrated sports franchises. Abromovich owns the Chelsea Football Club and Prokhorov owns the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.
We've put together a handy list of the 15 richest Russians. All of them are billionaires. Some of them have nearly unimaginable wealth. Many of them are surrounded by intrigue. Several are close buddies with Russian President Vladimir Putin. All of them are interesting in the way that oligarchs are.
- Vagit Alekperov
Net worth: $6.7 billion
Vagit Alekperov is CEO of Lukoil, the largest oil company in Russia. Lukoil is also Russia's first vertically integrated state-owned oil/energy company.
- Vladimir Oisin
Net worth: $7 billion
Self-made billionaire Vladimir Lisin is a former mechanic and steel worker who made his fortune with his majority state in Novolipetsk. This steel mill has become Russia's biggest metal source.
- German Khan
Net worth: $8.4 billion
German Khan and his fellow billionaire college buddies, Mikhail Fridman and Alexei Kuzmichev, run Russia's biggest financial and industrial group, called Alfa Group. When Alfa Group took over oil giant TNK in 2003, it was Khan who was chosen to run the operation and he has worked as executive director of TNK-BP ever since.
- Andrey Melnichenko
Net worth: $8.9 billion
Andrey Melnichenko is a Russian industrialist who made his billions through the bank he co-founded, MDM Bank. He also has stakes in fertilizer business Eurochem, coal company SUEK, and power firm SGK.
- Dmitry Rybolovlev (TIE)
Net worth: $9 billion
Dmitry Rybolovlev is Monaco based Russian fertilizer billionaire and real estate magnate. He is also a trained doctor. He has been responsible for the total privatization of the company. Rybolovlev also has a majority stake in the football club AS Monaco.
- Gennady Timchenko (TIE)
Net worth: $9 billion
Gennady Timchenko is an oil and gas tycoon based in Geneva. His billions come from his stake in the Guvnor Group, an enormous energy trading firm, which he co-founded. He sold his stake in the company to his partner, Torbjorn Tornqvist, in 2014.
- Alexei Kuzmichev
Net worth: $9.1 billion
Alexei Kuzmichev is a self-made billionaire who controls the successful investment giant Alfa Group, along with Mikhail Fridman and German Khan. The trio went to college together.
- Roman Abramovich
Net worth: $10 billion
Roman Abramovich may be the best known Russian oligarch. Roman's big break came in the mid-90s, when he acquired the controlling interest in Russia's fifth-largest oil company, Sibneft. Abramovich went on to acquire a full 70% of Sibneft. When the company was bought out by a rival Russian oil firm, Abramovich reportedly earned $10 billion in cash for his 70% stake.
- Viktor Vekselberg
Net worth: $10.9 billion
Viktor Vekselberg earned his fortune from selling his 50% stake in the giant oil company, TNK-BP. He currently holds investments in the Swiss steel firm Schmolz+Bickenbach, and in the Italian software company Octo Telematic, as well as the Bank of Cyprus, and more.
- Mikhail Prokhorov (TIE)
Estimated net worth: $11 billion
Mikhail Prokhorov made his billions from his partnership with Vladimir Potanin in the nickel company, Norlisk Nickel. He is the owner of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets as well as the Barclays Center arena where the team plays.
5. Alexey Mordashov (TIE)
Net worth: $11 billion
Born to parents who worked in a mill, Alexey Mordashov's self-made billions derive from his steel firm Severstal, where he was CEO for 19 years. He resigned in 2015, but he is still the company's majority shareholder.
- Alisher Usmanov
Net worth: $12 billion
Self-made billionaire Alisher Usmanov made his money by investing in the iron and steel company Metalloinvest, mobile phone company MegaFon, politics and business newspaper Kommersant, and Arsenal Football Club, among others.
- Mikhail Fridman
Net worth: $13.4 billion
Mikail Fridman is the third partner in investment company Alfa Group, along with Alexei Kuzmichev and German Khan. Alfa Group includes Alfa Bank, the largest private financial institution in Russia.
- Vladimir Potanin
Net worth: $14 billion
Vladimir Potanin is Mikail Prokhorov's former business partner. He made his billions through his metals company, Norilsk Nickel, of which he is chairman and the conglomerate, Interros, which he founded in 1990. He is close friends with President Vladimir Putin.
- Leonid Mickelson
Net worth: $14.4 billion
Leonid Mickelson is the wealthiest person in Russia. He made his fortune through his gas and petrochemical company, Sibur, as well as the natural gas firm Novatek. He is CEO and a major shareholder of Novatek.