Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 7 billionaires have renounced Russian citizenship - ForumDaily
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Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 7 billionaires have renounced Russian citizenship

7 billionaires renounced Russian citizenship after the treacherous Russian invasion of Ukraine. The reasons for each of them are different, but most businessmen managed to find a plausible excuse, reports Forbes.

Photo: IStock

Renunciation of citizenship is a non-trivial procedure, but quite feasible. To renounce a Russian passport, you must meet the following requirements: have no debts to the Russian state, have a passport of another country or guarantees of receiving it, submit an application and pay a state fee of $38.

If a citizen of the Russian Federation lives on the territory of Russia, this process can take up to one year, but when outside its borders - up to six months.

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After the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, at least 7 large businessmen renounced their Russian citizenship. This decision was publicly announced by: financier Timur Turlov, ex-head of the investment company Troika Dialog Ruben Vardanyan, investor in the technology sector Yuri Milner, creator of the Revolut payment service Nikolay Storonsky, former banker Oleg Tinkov, founder of the energy company Areti Igor Makarov and Alisher Usmanov’s former partner Vasily Anisimov.

Founder and main owner of Freedom holding Timur Turlov

  • Rank: № 36
  • Condition: $2,4 billion

Reasons for rejection: at the beginning of June 2022, the businessman announced that he had received a passport of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“We breathe freely here, and I believe that Kazakhstan, thanks to its peace-loving and hospitable policies, will be able to build a new, richer, more efficient, fair state,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

As Turlov’s representative later explained, renunciation of passports from other states is a prerequisite for obtaining a Kazakhstani passport. Therefore, the billionaire had to present documents renouncing citizenship of both Russia and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Founder of the investment company Troika Dialog Ruben Vardanyan

  • Rank: № 116
  • Condition: $1,3 billion

Reasons for rejection: in early September, Ruben Vardanyan announced his decision to renounce Russian citizenship and move to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Vardanyan explained his move with a desire to support local residents who are “in a difficult psychological state.”

“We must do everything to make Artsakh strong, safe, developed and happy, and also make it one of the world centers and the center of the Armenian identity,” he said.

Armenia and Azerbaijan consider Nagorno-Karabakh their historical lands. According to Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh is a territory where mainly ethnic Armenians live. According to Azerbaijan, these territories legally belong to them.

In June 2021, the businessman received an Armenian passport. The absence of passports from other states is a prerequisite for those applying for any government positions in the country. In November, Vardanyan was appointed “head of the government of Karabakh” (minister of state), but was removed from this position in February.

Founder of the investment company DST Global Yuri Milner

  • Rank: №15
  • Condition: $7,3 billion

Reasons for rejection: The billionaire did not officially state the reasons for his refusal of a Russian passport, but he publicly expressed his disagreement with Russian foreign policy.

“My family and I left Russia forever in 2014, after the Russian annexation of Crimea. And this summer we officially completed the process of renouncing our Russian citizenship,” he told his Twitter followers. Milner still has an Israeli passport and has lived in the United States since 2011.

In April 2022, Milner said that he had never acted in the interests of the Kremlin. He stated that he had not received money from Russia for years, although Alisher Usmanov invested in Milner’s DST Global funds in the 2000s. The Breakthrough Prize Foundation, founded by Milner, condemned the war on March 3, 2022. Together with his wife Yulia, the billionaire promised to donate $100 million to help Ukrainian refugees as part of the new Tech for Refugees initiative.

Revolut founder Nikolay Storonsky

  • Rank: № 16
  • Condition: $7,1 billion

Reasons for failure: At the end of October 2022, a Revolut representative reported that Nikolay Storonsky “some time ago” renounced his Russian citizenship. The reasons for this decision were not officially explained, but a Revolut representative recalled that after the “special operation” began, the company helped its employees in Ukraine move to other countries or regions, closed offices in Russia and offered relocation assistance to Russian employees.

The announcement of the billionaire’s refusal of a Russian passport was preceded by the imposition of sanctions by Ukraine against his father, General Director of Gazprom Promgaz JSC Nikolai Storonsky. A Revolut representative emphasized that Storonsky renounced his Russian passport before the imposition of sanctions against his father. Storonsky Jr. has a British passport.

Founder of Tinkoff Group Oleg Tinkov

  • Condition: $0,86 billion

Reasons for failure: at the end of October 2022, Oleg Tinkov announced that he had renounced Russian citizenship and posted the corresponding document on his Instagram page. He explained that he opposes Russia’s actions in Ukraine and does not want to be associated with what is happening, and also called on other Russian businessmen to follow his example.

The next day, the ex-banker’s post disappeared from the social network. In his comment, Tinkov said that the reason for deleting the post was an attack by trolls. Now the businessman lives with a Cypriot passport.

Founder and head of the Areti international group of companies Igor Makarov

Rank: №57
Condition: $2,2 billion

Reasons for rejection: Igor Makarov sold his gas assets to Rosneft in 2013. He is now a citizen of Cyprus. Information about this appeared in his profile on the American Forbes website. It states that Makarov renounced his Russian passport in 2023.

He ranks fifth in the list of the richest people in Cyprus. Makarov received Cypriot citizenship in exchange for investments. The businessman himself has been living between Cyprus, the USA and Italy in recent years.

After the start of the war in Ukraine, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand imposed sanctions against Makarov.

Founder of Trustconsult and development company Coalco International Vasily Anisimov

  • Rank: 72
  • Condition: $1,6 billion

Reasons for rejection: According to documents, he renounced Russian citizenship back in September 2022. The businessman retains the citizenship of Dominica and Croatia. He received the first one back in the mid-1990s. It didn't cost that much - only about $60.

Now Anisimov is a citizen of Croatia.

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He received his first Croatian passport in October 2003. This required much larger investments: the developer invested a total of $11 million in the country’s real estate over several years. The money went, in particular, to the construction of a sports base in Croatia on the island of Korcula. Russian rhythmic gymnasts trained there for almost 20 years, until the start of the war.

Today, Forbes estimates Anisimov's fortune at $1,6 billion. This is mainly money received from the sale of a stake in the Mikhailovsky GOK to Usmanov and other assets. The billionaire also has businesses in Kazakhstan and Africa, and in 2022 he got involved in real estate in the UAE. Anisimov himself claims that he no longer owns any assets in Russia - he handed over his former company Coalco, and with it Bolshoye Domodedovo, to managers.

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