These NYC Properties Belong To Russian Oligarchs

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made countries like the United States and several around the world consider their positions and state them on the global stage. These countries have rallied together and began issuing warning signs in the form of sanctions. These sanctions are not only directly aimed at Russia, but are also being imposed on prominent Russian associates and Putin himself, as per NBC News. Working closely with European allies, the U.S. hopes to hinder Putin's efforts in Ukraine by issuing severe sanctions that will have lingering economic impacts on Russia. 

The effects of the sanctions may already be underway, with CBS News reporting that the ruble is worth less than one cent. Other economic effects are taking place with the Moscow Stock Exchange continuing to stay closed for the third day in a row (via Reuters). While Russia and its residents feel the impact, what pressure is applied to the Russian oligarchs who own property here in the United States? Continue reading to take an inside look at what properties they own and why it matters to Russia.

NYC faces issues with real estate information

New York City is the perfect location for luxury real estate seekers with properties fetching as high as $79,000,000, as per Newsweek. There is no surprise that overseas parties are interested in taking a bite out of this apple, as investing in this city can be rewarding. With recent sanctions imposed on Putin and Russia, President Biden has also sought to sanction other prominent Russian parties with influence in the country. These Russian oligarchs own various properties throughout New York City, but not all of them are so easily marked. 

The difficulty lies under the shell -– literally. Shell corporations, that is. According to Spectrum News NY1, many overseas investors use these types of corporations, limited liability companies, trusts, and other entities to purchase properties, making it difficult to know who owns what. To begin pulling the layers back, New York state enacted new laws in 2019 requiring LLCs to note who is associated with the company they are using to buy and sell property. While seemingly offering high hopes, it yields little impact as oligarchs often have various associates purchase these assets on their behalf to help hide their extreme wealth. This smokescreen attempt creates a wave of chaos in delivering these sanctions, as any name associated with the assets may be impossible to identify.

The effects the sanctions have on the Russian oligarchs

Although tricky, it's not unfeasible to locate these assets, as some of the known addresses of these Russian oligarchs are listed. If identifying property is possible, what does it matter to Russia? What effects do these sanctions have on Russian parties? Most of Putin's inner circle are wealthy businessmen and philanthropists who travel worldwide while having supposed Kremlin ties. President Biden choosing to enact sanctions on Putin's inner circle will hinder their ability to conduct their business and, most importantly, travel. 

According to New York Post, sanctioned parties will lose access to the U.S. financial system, as well as assets that are tied up in the West. Roman Abramovich, worth more than $13.8 billion, also dubbed as "Putin's banker," is already feeling the sanctions' effects as he announced he would be looking to sell his Premier League soccer club, Chelsea (via The Washington Post). The sanctions constrain the ability of these close Russian parties to conduct their business and maintain their reputation and status. They may even prevent other institutions from conducting business with them, such as private schools, banks, and other entities.

Roman Abramovich has plans for one mega mansion

As previously mentioned, "Putin's banker," Roman Abramovich, owns several prestigious New York properties. The most noteworthy ones are the stretch of townhomes he owns. The home addresses are 9, 11, 13, and 15 on East 75th Street. While he owns four townhomes on this block, only the first three are part of a bigger construction project planned to consolidate the addresses. According to Forbes, Abramovich has been purchasing these residences for several years, beginning in 2014. After accumulating these adjacent properties, he has been fulfilling plans to create the largest single residence in Manhattan. 

The combining of the three townhomes will bring the total living space of the residence to a whopping 31,500 square foot family home, as per New York Post. The inside details are equally impressive, with a proposed five bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, an indoor/outdoor pool, various staircases, and a primary suite that nearly takes up an entire floor. The three townhomes combined hold an estimated value of $74 million, while 15 East 75th Street is valued at $16.5 million.

Roman Abramovich has a total of five NYC properties

According to New York Post, while Abramovich aims to build a mega-mansion, he also owns a $900,000 residence in New York City. You would just need to walk a few blocks over from his row of townhouses to find yourself at his fifth property — 215 E. 73rd Street. This lavish residence takes up the entire fourth floor of the luxury apartment building. While the above photo isn't his exact unit, it's a similar unit for the same price inside his building.

According to Forbes, this property and the townhomes previously mentioned have all been transferred into his ex-wife's name, Darya Zhukova, in 2018. While it might seem strange to transfer nearly $100 million in assets to one's ex-partner, this transfer of ownership happened just before Abramovich ran into a few difficulties of the law. This included accusations of money laundering. The New York Times reported the property settlement totaled $92.3 million, and was one of the largest closings for the month of September that year.

Oleg Deripaska's luxury Lenox Hill apartment

Oleg Deripaska also made the list in the latest sanctions. Deripaska is the founder of Basic Element and owner of several companies, including En+ Group, Rusal, and EuroSibEnergo, as per the U.S. Department of Treasury. This billionaire with apparent Russian ties is no stranger to sanctions on his properties, such as 11 East 64th Street in New York. According to Russia Business Today, this very same address of the Kremlin-tied oligarch was under United States sanctions previously in 2018. 

The same fate holds true currently for this address as President Biden announced the United State's latest sweep of sanctions against prominent Russian figures. According to StreetEasy, this townhouse boasts an impressive five stories and has a grand total of 10,104 square feet of living space. This luxury building was built in 1899, giving it a long history in the Lenox Hill neighborhood. It was reportedly last sold in 2008 for $42.5 million, per New York Post.

A haunted history makes for Oleg Deripaska's iconic home

Forbes estimates Oleg Deripaska's net worth at $2.9 billion, much of which is tied up in real estate. That real estate portfolio includes another prominent Manhatten property -– 12 Gay Street in Greenwich Village. It was built in 1925, and is a tri-level dwelling that last sold for $4.2 million in 2009 (via StreetEasy). This property is on the iconic Gay Street, which has been featured in music videos and movies, and has a haunted past, as per NY Ghosts

According to New York Post, this specific property was also raided by FBI agents in 2021. Deripaska was accused of extortion, racketeering, bribery, and had links to organized crime, per The New York Times. Fox Business also reported that Deripaska sold his NYC properties to relatives in 2018, after the 2018 United States sanctions prevented the Putin-affiliated billionaire from owning property or conducting business in the United States. This was probably a way for him to hold the assets without the government taking them away.

Len Blavatnik's headquarters that were turned into a personal residence

Len Blavatnik is a Ukrainian-born, Moscow-raised billionaire with supposed ties to Putin. He has an estimated net worth of $33.9 billion, as per Forbes. He immigrated to the United States in 1978 to attend Colombia University, and is now a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom. His fame to fortune is selling his stake in a Russian oil company for $7 billion in 2013. 

He owns several lavish properties throughout New York, a notable one at 2 East 63rd Street in the Lenox Hill neighborhood (via The New York Times). This apartment building was constructed in 1920 and was once the New York Academy of Sciences headquarters. It was renovated to a personal residence and put up for sale in 2005 when Blavatnik purchased it for $31.25 million (via Daytonian in Manhattan). It is now a part of the recent sanctions imposed upon prominent Russian figures in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Len Blavatnik's very expensive townhouse

Having multiple residences is not uncommon, especially if you are a billionaire in New York City. 15 East 64th Street is property two of five owned by the Russian oligarch, Len Blavatnik, as per The Real Deal. It is only a few blocks away from various other properties owned by Blavatnik in Manhattan's well-known Lenox Hill neighborhood. This property is yet another on President Biden's recent list of sanctions. 

The home was previously owned by Edgar Bronfman, the Seagram liquor heir and a music executive, as per the Observer. This property sale was once considered one of the largest townhouse real estate deals, as Blavatnik purchased it for $51 million in 2007. Even more bewildering, records show that Bronfman didn't take out a loan for the purchase, indicating he paid for it cash. And according to Forbes, once Blavatnik purchased the residence, he also purportedly bought Bronfman's company, Warner Music, for $3.3 billion.

Blavatnik's pricey co-op with a park view

This prime piece of real estate sits just opposite the Central Park Zoo in New York City. One of two cooperatives owned by Blavatnik, 834 Fifth Avenue, is located in Manhattan's Upper East Side. This luxury cooperative was purchased in 2014 for $80 million, as per The Real Deal. Blavatnik reportedly paid $5 million over the asking price at the time to acquire the property. 

He is an owner of one of the condo-like homes in the 16 story apartment building that once housed the likes of Robert Murdoch. Murdoch purchased the penthouse triplex from Laurance S. Rockefeller, as per Town & Country. According to Daytonian in Manhattan, architect Rosario Candela designed the building, and the simplex and duplex style homes range from 12 to 17 rooms each, with the smallest residences having nine to 10 rooms. The Ukrainian billionaire is no newbie to New York's real estate enterprise as he has snatched up quite a few prominent addresses.

Blavatnik is still breaking real estate records

Len Blavatnik owns the most properties in the New York City area out of any of the currently sanctioned Russian oligarchs highlighted. The third listed property of Blavatnik's is at 19 East 64th Street in Manhattan. According to New York Post, Blavatnik had his eye on this Gilded Age limestone townhouse for a while. He allegedly tried to buy the property a few years prior to the sale, and made a "handshake agreement" with the seller, only to have to deal fall through.

This is yet another closely located property in New York's Lenox Hill neighborhood, a seemingly popular area for Blavatnik to purchase real estate in. Blavatnik broke another New York City real estate record when he paid $90 million for this prestigious address in 2018. The Wildenstein family once owned the property, and used the home as an art gallery for over eight decades. 

Blavatnik's co-op next to the Met

This is the last property on the current sanctions list from the United States linked to Blavatnik. 998 Fifth Avenue marks the second co-op owned by the Russian oligarch in New York City, as per Curbed NY. This #4 co-operative is nestled nicely across the street from the well-known Metropolitan Museum of Art. Blavatnik purchased this co-op in 2007 for $27.5 million, as per The New York Times. Above is a similar unit from the building. 

The apartments were built in 1912 and are 12 stories tall while housing 17 units. The real estate tycoon's specific apartment boasts an impressive 14 rooms with four bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, two maids' rooms, and a 35-foot gallery wall (via Variety). But apparently, that wasn't enough space for the Russian tycoon. He and his wife planned to buy the apartment next door to create one massive house, but the co-op refused to sell. The latest Russian attacks have now put his pricey pads on the radar in an unattractive way.

Alexei Kuzmichev's million dollar mansion

Russian businessman Alexei Kuzmichev has a total net worth of $7.4 billion. He is also on the latest list of United States sanctions against Russian oligarchs and Putin. Curbed New York lists Kuzmichev's one New York property as 33 East 74th Street. The co-founder of Alfa Bank, the largest non-state-owned bank in Russia, Kuzmichev purchased the first four floors of the seven-story historic Atterbury Mansion for $42 million in 2016. The property totals an impressive 10,088 square feet in living space. Above is pictured a unit inside the building selling for the same price point, but it is unconfirmed whether that is Kuzmichev's exact apartment.

The New York residence has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a personal elevator located inside the home. Kuzmichev had hoped to combine multiple residences and set his eyes on another unit. To attempt to accomplish this, he spent an additional $15.5 million on a three-bedroom residence in another building (via The Wall Street Journal). That means he spent a combined total of $57.5 million.

Eugene Shvidler's off-market duplex deal

Eugene Shvidler is one of the remaining suspected Russian oligarchs who has been named in the sanctions imposed from the United States in recent days since Russia's assault on Ukraine. With a total net worth of $1.6 billion listed by Forbes, this billionaire has close relations to Abramovich. According to Observer, Abramovich gifted Shvidler a yacht, which he used to park by the Statue of Liberty. The executive chairman of Highland Gold Mining, he acquired his first New York property, 785 Fifth Avenue, in May of 2018, according to The Real Deal. He purchased the 5,000-square foot duplex for $24.5 million from DreamWorks founder and billionaire David Geffen. Above is pictured a similar unit found inside the same building.

Observer reported it was an off-market deal as the address was not publicly listed. The previous owner renovated the duplex and retrofitted it with a chef-style kitchen, professionally-designed soundproof screening room, a wet bar, powder room, and oversized great room.

Dmitry Rybolovlev's Upper West Side apartment

The last of the five named Russian oligarchs is Dmitry Rybolovlev. According to Forbes, Rybolovlev purchased 15 Central Park West in the form of a trust. The property in the trust was set up for his then 22-year-old daughter, who became the owner. He bought this Lincoln Square residence in 2017 for $88 million. Rybloblev purchased the home from Citigroup chairman Sandford Weill. Above is a photo of a unit being sold in the building for $44 million, which is half the price of Rybloblev's luxury penthouse.

The Upper West Side apartment is in a prestigious building that has housed several notable residents such as Robert DeNiro, Sting, Denzel Washington, and Alex Rodriguez, as per Curbed NY. The 10 bedroom penthouse is the last on the list of addresses to be sanctioned by the United States government in response to Russia invading Ukraine. The United States has decided to follow the footsteps of the European Union and impose sanctions meant to affect the pockets of Putin and his inner circle.