The middle man
A privileged position
Who's Roman Abramovich?
So, what exactly is a Russian oligarch?
Making millions
Russian billionaires in London
Friends with Putin
The roots of Roman Abramovich
Abramovich, orphaned at a young age
First trades in military service
Marriages
Free-for-all in post-Sovjet Russia
Not always by the book
Owner of Chelsea
A billion-dollar divorce
His third ex-wife
The beautiful game
Glory times with Chelsea and Abramovich
He's continued to make money
Roman Abramovich' net worth
How does Roman Abramovich spend his money?
Protection in the UK
Art lover
Sea you later
Roman Abramovich parties with the stars
Charity man
What will happen now?
Uncertain future for Chelsea F.C. and... his yachts
Goodbye, Solaris
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The middle man

Could Abramovich act as the middle man that is trusted on all sides to bring peace to the world and end this war? That is what the paper, Marca is telling us.

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A privileged position

The publication reveals that Roman Ambramovich has been part of a first round of peace talks. He was seen with Zelensky in Ukraine before boarding the train to Poland - where the President of the United States, Joe Biden, awaits. Could his position of having a close relationship to Putin help bring peace between Russia and the Western world? Could he be the unsung hero of this war? He is a man who has risen and fallen - we take a look at the story of how he got here.

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Who's Roman Abramovich?

Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich, born 24 October 1966, is a billionaire Russian oligarch, politician and owner of Chelsea football club. He put the English soccer team up for sale after the Russian attack on Ukraine made him and other Russian billionaires the object of international economic sanctions. However, he has not had the same strict sanctions as the other oligarchs.

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So, what exactly is a Russian oligarch?

Russian oligarchs are business leaders in the countries that used to be Soviet republics. Russia’s richest and most powerful men rapidly accumulated wealth during the era of Russian Privatisation, in the 1990s. They are Russia's 'finest,' whose jets, yachts and mansions are hanging in an empty abyss right now.

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Making millions

Abramovich made his fortune in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, getting his hands on Russian state-owned assets at prices far below market value.

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Russian billionaires in London

He wasn't the only one. As Business Insider reports, there's more Russian billionaires out there, flying their corgis by private jet and buying up London's most valuable properties. Another example, besides Abramovich, is this man: Alisher Usmanov.

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Friends with Putin

The Daily Mirror reports that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has known Russian president Vladimir Putin for decades. Their relationship is now under the microscope due to Putin's attack on Ukraine.

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The roots of Roman Abramovich

Abramovich's family is Jewish. His mother, Irina Vasilievna Abramovich, was a music teacher who died when Roman was 1 year old. His father, Aron (Arkady) Abramovich Leibovich, worked in the economic council of the Komi ASSR, a northern Soviet republic.

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Abramovich, orphaned at a young age

The Guardian recounts that Abramovich lost his mother to illness when he was 18 months old. His father was subsequently killed in a construction accident when Roman was four. He was then adopted by his father's brother, living for a time in Moscow and then with his maternal grandparents in the northern region of Komi.

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First trades in military service

Abramovich didn't get a college degree; he dropped out twice. But in the army he learned the tricks of the trade. Abramovich started doing business while he was enlisted, for example by "selling stolen gasoline to army officers," as Gentlemen's Journal reported.

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Marriages

Abramovich has been married and divorced three times. He married Olga Yurevna Lysova in December 1987; they divorced three years later. He didn't stay single for long. In 1991, he married Irina Malandina, his second wife.

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Free-for-all in post-Sovjet Russia

It was in the time of his marriage with Irina, from the early 90s through the 2000s, that Roman Abramovich went from near-poverty to incredible riches. In the time of Russia's transition from Sovjet to capitalist state, he made money selling tankers of diesel until he managed to purchase an oil company from the state through its loans-for-shares construction, the Daily Mail reports.

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Not always by the book

​As the Daily Mail reports, Abramovich was arrested in 1992 for diverting a train full of diesel fuel - government property - worth 3.8 million roubles while using forged papers, Gentlemen's Journal reports. Once compensated, the charges against him were dropped, however.

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Owner of Chelsea

In 2003, Abramovich bought the English football club Chelsea. By then, he had become a man of billions who wanted to expand his business empire internationally.

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A billion-dollar divorce

When they divorced in 2007, Irina was thought to have been given cash and property worth between £1 billion and £2 billion out of her husband's £11 billion ($14.5 billion) fortune. Russia's secretive legal system means that exact details of the settlement will never be made public, according to the Evening Standard.

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His third ex-wife

A year after the divorce with Irina, he married his third wife, Dasha Zhukova. The couple had two children together (he already had five!). The marriage lasted from 2008 to 2017.

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The beautiful game

Abramovich was relatively unknown before he bought the London-based soccer team Chelsea in 2003 for $233 million. Since then, he has pumped more than one billion pounds into the club.

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Glory times with Chelsea and Abramovich

Chelsea has won 16 major trophies since Abramovich took over, including the UEFA Champions League twice, the UEFA Europa League twice, the Premier League five times, and the FA Cup five times.

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He's continued to make money

Besides Chelsea, Abramovich is the primary owner of the private investment company Millhouse LLC. He has also had shares in mining, gas and oil companies, invested in sports and music enterprises, and he was the Governor of the Russian region of Chukotka where he invested in its local businesses and infrastructure, the BBC reported.

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Roman Abramovich' net worth

According to Forbes magazine, Abramovich's net worth was $12.9 billion in 2019, making him the second richest person in Israel, where he had gotten a passport in 2018, and the eleventh-richest person in Russia. He is also the number 1 richest person in Portugal, where he obtained citizenship in 2021.

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How does Roman Abramovich spend his money?

With such a fortune, and the UK and European governments currently in its pursuit for sanctions, it is interesting to note where Abramovic spends his money on.

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Protection in the UK

The Times reports that Abramovich has a big team of security staff in the UK. Eight times the size of a normal security team, the tycoon has a 40-strong "private army," making him one of the best-protected men in the world. This protection is estimated to cost him about £1.2m a year.

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Art lover

According to Gentleman's Journal, Abramovich has emerged as a major buyer in the international art market. He buys Russian art, including the works of the conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov, but he also follows the trend for paintings by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and others from the figurative movement.

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Sea you later

Roman Abramovich is also known for his love of yachts. The Russian's latest stunning vessel, the Solaris, is worth over £400 million, the 'Daily Star' reports. It's the most expensive custom-made superyacht ever to hit the water.

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Roman Abramovich parties with the stars

The 'Mail Online' reports that one new year's Eve, Mr Abramovich’s £5 million party included a performance by the Black Eyed Peas. It was attended by celebrities such as Demi Moore, actress and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, model Stephanie Seymour, comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Star Wars creator George Lucas.

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Charity man

In an article published by 'Third Sector', Abramovich apparently does make private donations, most of which are understood to be channelled into Russia. He has reportedly spent about £1.5bn on his charity 'The Pole of Hope' to help those in the Arctic region of Chukotka, where he was former governor, and he has set up the National Football Academy in Russia.

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What will happen now?

After the Russian attack on Ukraine, various billionaires from Putin's circle have been targeted by economic sanctions. Governments participating in the sanctions, such as the UK, the US and the European Union, have frozen the foreign assets of these so-called 'oligarchs'. According to Forbes, Abramovich is one of them. His losses so far are estimated at $1.2 billion, or 8.4% of his total assets.

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Uncertain future for Chelsea F.C. and... his yachts

On March 2, after a week of war in Ukraine and intense scrutiny by the British government, Abramovich announced he would sell the club and that "a foundation would donate the 'net proceeds' of any sale for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine," Bloomberg reports.

 

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Goodbye, Solaris

His superyacht Solaris, meanwhile, left the Barcelona harbor on March 9, Reuters reported. It happened after other yachts from Russian oligarchs had been seized by the French government and fears of new, increased European sanctions arose. It has anchored in Turkey.

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