Since the fall of the Soviet Union, a certain brand of highly connected and impossibly rich Russian has been a staple on the international scene. At first, the champagne-swilling, couture-loving oligarchs flaunted their wealth domestically and in Europe, but it wasn’t long before they hit U.S. shores. Once here, they put the spending habits of Wall Street tycoons to shame by picking up prime real estate, blue-chip art, sports teams and seemingly every yacht and private jet on the market. But how to tell your Prokhorov from your Fetisov? We break it down for you.
Hails from: Saratov
Home base: London; Moscow; a Fifth Avenue mansion in Manhattan; the Eclipse—an estimated $400 million, 500-plus-foot yacht with two swimming pools, helicopter landing pads, a cinema and its own missile defense system
Assets: $10.2 billion
Rise to power: Putin pal Abramovich is the majority owner of the investment company Millhouse LLC and the owner of the English soccer team Chelsea Football Club. Abramovich divorced his second wife in 2007 for a reported $300 million settlement and settled down with his former mistress, the art-world fixture Dasha Zhukova.
Hails from: Haivoron, Ukraine
Home base: Moscow; a reported $23.85 million Southampton mansion; a $48 million apartment at the Plaza
Assets: A reported $13 billion
Rise to power: Krutoy is known as a composer, but is also the head of ARS, a Russian record label and management company. He is famous at home for producing Star Factory, the Russian version of American Idol.
Hails from: Saint Petersburg
Home bases: A $16 million home in Star Island, Miami Beach; a Zaha Hadid–designed home near Moscow referred to as “the Spaceship”
Assets: A reported $1 billion
Rise to power: The Donald Trump of Russia, Doronin made his money running the Moscow real estate company the Capital Group, but is most famous for dating Naomi Campbell—and then dumping her for her Chinese protégée on The Face, Luo Zilin.
Hails from: Moscow
Home base: Moscow; a $37.5 million, 8,300-square-foot penthouse in New York’s Time Warner Center
Assets: In the billions
Rise to power: Vavilov, a former deputy finance minister of Russia, is often called the architect of the country’s free-market economy. He now runs a hedge fund that he seeded with $200 million of his own money.
Hails from: Moscow
Home base: A $35,000-per-night penthouse at Manhattan’s Four Seasons; a $35 million island in the Seychelles; Moscow; a chalet in Courchevel, France
Assets: $13 billion
Rise to power: The Brooklyn Nets owner built his fortune in precious metals, running the world’s largest producer of nickel, Norilsk Nickel, before becoming the chairman of Russia’s biggest gold producer, Polyus Gold. Prokhorov is also the former president of investment firm ONEXIM Group—a position he resigned before running (unsuccessfully) against Putin in the 2012 Russian presidential election.
Hails from: Kabardino-Balkaria
Home base: A four-bedroom, $8 million condo in the Liberty Lofts near Lincoln Center
Rise to power: This émigré princess loves the high life. Her signature cocktail is made from $5,000-a-bottle Louis XIII Rémy Martin cognac and apple juice, and she regularly drops $8,000 on evenings out with pals like Olivia Wilde and Patricia Field.
Hails from: Belgrade, Serbia
Home base: A $300 million Philippe Starck–designed bombproof yacht; the $39 million Harewood Estate in Ascot, Berkshire; a Manhattan penthouse
Assets: $14.4 billion
Rise to power: Former model and Serbian pop star Aleksandra married billionaire Andrey Melnichenko in 2005 on the Cote D’Azur; Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera performed at the ceremony. Jennifer Lopez was reportedly paid $1.2 million to play at Melnichenko’s 30th birthday party.
Hails from: Moscow
Home base: A $6.4 million, 2,255-square-foot pad at the Trump International; Moscow
Rise to power: Fetisov was considered the greatest hockey defenseman in Soviet history before his career with the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils; he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001. Post retirement, Fetisov served as chairman of the board of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.