Disinfo: No pro-Kremlin oligarchs exist in Russia


Alexei Navalny appeared recently in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament saying Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich, Ahmet Usmanov and Boris Rotenberg need to be put on a sanctions list as they are assisting a regime which is poisoning its political opponents. However, Navalny spoke together with certain pro-Western and US-funded opposition figures such as Vladimir Kara-Murza, Vladimir Milov and Ilya Yashin.

Additionally, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov and Vladimir Putin himself have said that no oligarchs exist in Russia today and no firm is receiving favorable treatment by being close to Russia authorities.


The article is an attempt to discredit Alexey Navalny and his participation in a hearing at the European Parliameny, including by flatly denying the collusion between political and business interests around the Kremlin. This story is also consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

Oligarchs exist in today's Russia and they have close links with the Kremlin. As far as the three names mentioned by Alexei Navalny in front of the European Parliament, ample evidence exists.

Ahmet Usmanov, who originally comes from Uzbekistan, is involved in almost all lucrative sectors of the Russian business world, including the metal industry, banks and media.

Roman Abramovich, mostly known as the owner of the English soccer club Chelsea, was told by Putin himself to buy the club back in 2003. Boris Berezovsky, another Russian oligarch who turned against Putin, had uncovered various aspects of the Abramovich-Putin connection.

As far as Boris Rotenberg is concerned, he and his brother Arkady have been very close to President Putin since their childhood years and this connection has proven beneficial in their rise. Arkady Rotenberg, who was included in the EU sanctions list after Crimea's annexation in 2014, was also involved in a laundering operation through Barclays Bank which was exposed by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen).


  • Reported in: Issue 222
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Alexei Navalny, European Union, Anti-Russian


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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