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Ukrainian Oligarchs

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During the dissolution of the Soviet Union, certain well-placed individuals were able to leverage their knowledge and connections to acquire or control a large share of the industrial and natural resources of Ukraine. These people came to be known as the oligarchs.

Current and past Ukrainian oligarchs include:

  • Rinat Akhmetov (Donetsk)
  • Ihor Bakai
  • Ihor Kolomoiskyi (Dnipropetrovsk)
  • Viktor Medvedchuk (Kiev)
  • Viktor Pinchuk (Dnipropetrovsk)
  • Hryhorii Surkis (Kiev)
  • Serhii Tihipko (Dnipropetrovsk)
  • Yulia Tymoshenko
  • Oleksandr Volkov

The Ukrainian oligarchs are comparable to their better-known Russian oligarch counterparts:

  • Boris Berezovsky
  • Anatoly Chubais
  • Vladimir Gusinsky
  • Mikhail Khodorkovsky
  • Yuri Luzhkov
  • Alexander Smolensky

Boris Berezovsky in particular was linked to significant investments in Ukraine made prior to 2001. The Russian oligarchs are being superseded by "siloviki" (strongmen) linked to the former KGB.


"The Oligarchs" by David Hoffman 2002 Public Affairs Perseus Books $20 ISBN 9781586482022

"Ukraine's Orange Revolution" by Andrew Wilson 2005 Yale University Press $22 ISBN 0300112904