One of Russia’s Richest Oligarchs Says He’s a ‘Pariah,’ Living in Dubai


  • One of Russia’s richest men, Andrey Melnichenko, said the Ukraine war had made him a “pariah.”
  • Melnichenko now lives in the UAE, where his $300 million Motor Yacht A is moored.
  • His $578 million Sailing Yacht A was seized by Italian authorities shortly after he was sanctioned.

One of Russia’s richest individuals said he’d become a “pariah” in the United Arab Emirates where he fled after being sanctioned.

In an extensive interview with the Financial Times, Andrey Melnichenko decried the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on his personal life, while also saying there were “war crimes from both sides” in the conflict.

Melnichenko was sanctioned in March last year after attending a roundtable of Russian business figures hosted by Vladimir Putin in February.

The businessman, who made his money from coal and fertilizers, previously said that he only found out he had been sanctioned when he read about it in the news.

“I don’t make weapons for the war. I make food for people and energy for power stations all over the world. I don’t promote the war. I’m not involved in politics. What’s the point?” Melnichenko told the FT.

Melnichenko berthed his $300 million Motor Yacht A in the UAE last year. His $578 million Sailing Yacht A was seized by Italian authorities shortly after he was sanctioned.

His net worth more than doubled to about $25 billion after the invasion and subsequent sanctions on Russia forced a spike in fertilizer prices, per Forbes.

Sanctions against Russian oligarchs have changed the lives of several influential billionaires who previously spent much of their time in the West.

Former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, for example, was forced to sell the club and now resides in Israel, per Le Monde.

Oligarchs had a collective $95 billion wiped off their net worth last year, according to Guardian analysis of Bloomberg Billionaires Index data.

Last week, the FT reported that tech billionaire Arkady Volozh had appealed sanctions placed on him by the EU, just days after he first criticized the war.

Oleg Tinkov managed to get sanctions against him in the UK lifted after slamming Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and getting the backing of British business tycoon Richard Branson.


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