Russian Oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov Explains Why Russian Oligarchs Are So Awesome

20 Feb

American celebrities churn up their fair share of scandal and gossip, but the billionaire oligarchs of Russia are in a league of their own when it comes to leading a larger-than-life existence.

Russian Oligarch

In a new article in the Wall Street Journal, writer Lara Vapynar tries to understand the intrigue of the oligarchs, many of whom found themselves rich behind their wildest dreams after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

So what is it about the Russian tycoons that lead them to break out in a brawl on live TV, own a yacht that’s too massive to park on the French Riviera, or buy a sports team as a symbol of wealth and power?

Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire tycoon who scooped up the New Jersey Nets a few years back, claims to have the answer.

According to the WSJ:

He alludes to the famous mysteriousness of the Russian soul. After his Courchevel scandal [in which he was arrested after hiring prostitutes for a party], Mr. Prokhorov was outraged at the French authorities. He was just trying to throw a good party!

Mr. Prokhorov later complained in an interview that the French were hypocrites, that they claimed to admire the great Russian culture (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Dyagilev and such) but refused to view the lifestyle of contemporary Russians (he meant contemporary tycoons like him) as part of that great culture, or as a manifestation of that “mysterious Russian soul.”

The “mysterious Russian soul”–maybe it’s not a sound explanation for the out-of-control habits of Russia’s wealthiest, but it’s definitely got us intrigued.

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The Wild Life Of The Billionaire Oligarch Who Just Bought An $88 Million Apartment For His Daughter

19 Feb

After weeks of speculation, it’s finally been revealed that Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the 22-year-old daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlevis the purchaser of ex-Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill’s penthouse at 15 Central Park West.

Far more interesting is the life of Ekaterina’s father, who presumably bankrolled the pricey pad.

his fortune is estimated $9.5 billion.

CEO Sandy Weill's penthouse at 15 Central Park West.

He’s in the midst of a dirty divorce from his wife of 23 years, with whom he has two daughters. His wife accused him of “serial infidelity,” and the ordeal could cost him upwards of $6 billion.

Dmitry Rybolovlev divorce

Like other oligarchs, Rybolovlev loves his toys. He owns a megayacht called the “My Anna” that’s worth $111 million, which he’s rumored to use for trysts with other women.

Rybolovlev  owns a megayacht called the "My Anna"

In 2010, he paid $95 million for, more than twice what Trump paid for the place a few years earlier.

Donald Trump's oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach

He’s in the process of buying struggling French soccer club Monaco AS. Ryoblovlev reportedly wants to spend $260 million revamping the team.

struggling French soccer club Monaco AS. Ryoblovlev

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World’s largest yacht belonging to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich docks in NYC

19 Feb

Eclipse YachtThe colossal private yacht belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovitch sailed into New York harbour yesterday and stunned residents by docking in midtown Manhattan for reasons unknown.

Widely recognised as the largest boat in the world, Eclipse measures a whopping 557ft in length so was unlikely to go unnoticed as it arrived in the Big Apple.

The presence of the $1.5billion vessel has surprised many familiar with the Russian’s security paranoia and media shyness and has understandably fuelled speculation as to why it has strayed from its usual territory around southern Europe and St Barts.
Eclipse yacht russian oligarch abramovitch
A spokesman for Mr Abramovich refused to comment on the nature of the Chelsea FC owner’s business in New York but tongues are wagging that it may have something to do with his girlfriend’s pregnancy.

Dasha Zhukova is expecting the couple’s first child together in the Spring and dock workers have revealed the boat is due to remain parked at the Midtown pier until mid-April.

Since Mr Abramovitch prioritizes privacy and security, CNBC reports that some believe he is using the boat as a temporary residence so he can better accommodate his staff and security team.

The incredible vessel boasts two swimming pools, two helicopter pads, a dedicated disco hall, around 30 cabins, a mini-submarine, and even a missile defence system.

It also has armour-plating around Abramovich’s master suite, bullet-proof windows and a laser system designed to dazzle long-lens photographers.

When it was ordered the initial cost was estimated at around $500million, but by the time Mr Abramovich took delivery last year it was spiralling towards the $1.5billion mark because of the extra luxury fittings and security measures.

Eclipse was built by the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and delivered to Abramovich last December.

The oligarch also owns three other mega-yachts, the Pelorus (377ft), the Ecstasea (282ft) and the Sussurro (161ft).

Abramovich once lent the Pelorus to Chelsea footballers Frank Lampard and John Terry as a ‘bonus’ for playing well.

Annual running costs for his fleet are around $25million including full tanks of petrol at around $110,000 per yacht.

Villa Leopolda Sold For $750 Million To Russian Oligarch

15 Feb

Villa Leopolda Sold For $750 Million To Russian Oligarch

A mysterious Russian billionaire has trumped his big-spending rivals and broken a world record by splashing out $750 million on one of the most sumptuous villas on the French Riviera.

The price of the Villa Leopolda, a Belle Apoque mansion on the heights of Villefrance, has amazed estate agents but fuelled local worries that the invasion of Russian money on the Cote d’Azur is getting out of hand.

Since the early 1990s, Russian oligarchs, drawn by memories of the Riviera-mad old Russian aristocracy, have been piling into seaside properties at Cap Ferrat, Cap d’Antibes, Saint-Tropez and the other great playgrounds.

To check out some other outrageous homes for sale visit