Twelve of Russia's oligarchs made it into Forbes magazine's list of the 100 richest individuals in the world this year.
Roman Abramovich, the governor of the Chukotka region who owns Britain's Chelsea football club, rose to the No. 11 spot, with a net worth of $18.2 billion, up from $14.7 billion last year. Vagit Alekperov, the chief executive of oil giant Lukoil, ranked No. 37 with $11 billion. Steel tycoon Vladimir Lisin was No. 41 with $10.7 billion. Viktor Vekselberg, who co-owns the Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP and the aluminum major SUAL, placed 44th with $10 billion...the only Russian woman to appear on this year's list is Yelena Baturina, the owner of a booming construction business and wife of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. She ranked 335th with $2.3 billion.
Read the full story by RIA Novosti and view the photos of the Russian oligarchs in the extended post.
If you look at their faces you will be surprised - these people don't look like ordinary billionaires, because they aren't. They look like either corrupt soviet bureaucrats or 35 year old charismatic scoundrels; because that's who they are.
Please remember, that these Russian oligarchs did not create wealth; they actually didn't create anything. They simply stole former Soviet property and have been leaching off it for the last 15 years.
And the people who were capable of doing this were either corrupt Soviet bureaucrats in the right places at the right time or 21 year old college drop-outs with shrewd minds and no fear. It's because of them that Russia doesn't produce anything but natural resources, extracted without any accountability or transparency. While the oligarchs own castles in Britain and hundreds of billions of dollars, the total Russian federal budget is only 104 billion dollars a year, and Russian pensioners are forgoing toilet paper to save money. And the citizens of booming Moscow could care less about the mayor's wife controlling the entire construction industry in the city.