Russian billionaires’ club loses 23 members thanks to economic crisis

Yury Kovalchuk, ‘Putin’s personal banker’

Russian billionaires: The number of Russian billionaires fell from 111 to 88 last year as the country’s business elite felt the force of the  country’s economic crisis and the impact of sanctions. According to the latest issue of Forbes Russia, the total net worth of Russia’s top 200 wealthiest businessmen shrank by $73bn during the course of 2014. Close Putin allies Boris Rotenberg and Yury Kovalchuk –  both sanctioned by the US  and the EU because of their  ties with the Russian President – were among the casualties. Rotenberg’s fortune shrunk to just $950m from $1.7 bn while Kovalchuk saw his wealth decrease from $1.4bn to $650m With $15.4bn to his name, metals magnate Vladimir Potanin jumped from seventh to  first while Alisher Usmanov dropped from first to third.  Mikhail Fridman remains in second place.