Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his war on the smaller and less prosperous country of Ukraine despite the suffering of his own people due to sanctions imposed by the United States and other European countries. Russian oligarchs who have long control and hoarded Russian money while the lower class goes without, but their rule is challenged thanks to those same sanctions.
Another lavish Sardinia villa seized—one with ties to Berlusconi, Putin, and Formula One https://t.co/NXpIlwsSUD
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) April 12, 2022
Former Formula One driver Nikita Dmitrievich Mazepin, who was dismissed by Formula One along with his father after being sanctioned by the U.S., owned a villa in Italy until the country seized it because of those sanctions. This is but one on a long list of sanctions imposed and oligarchs’ property seized thanks to Putin’s war.
According to The Daily Beast:
‘The property, valued at around $115 million, sits on a cliff overlooking Sardinia’s rocky Paradise Beach coast and boasts some of the most expansive views of the turquoise waters and famous red rocks on the island. The nearest town is Porto Cervo, where, until Russia invaded Ukraine, a string of Russian superyachts were moored. Most moved out in mid-February.’
Great segment on the 11th Hour with @SRuhle on @MSNBC about Putin and Ukraine. She asked what should Biden do now? My answers:
-sanction 100 Russian oligarchs (not just 20)
-give Ukraine all the military support they ask for pic.twitter.com/zmdHCdDuAD
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) April 12, 2022
The impact on the Russian economy of the sanctions has been dire, with Russian stock markets closing for a long period of time and the ruble, the Russian dollar, weakened significantly. Oligarchs from Russia are quickly seeing their fortunes dwindle as the sanctions restrict their ability to operate and do business.
According to Forbes:
‘Thirty-one billionaires and billionaire drop-offs have been sanctioned by the U.S., the U.K. or the European Union: 11 after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the rest since the Ukraine invasion. The sanctions are taking a toll. The Russian stock market was shuttered for 17 days; it reopened on March 24, initially with severe trading limits. The economy is cratering. Yachts, jets and mansions have been frozen. Forbes estimates that these oligarchs—worth a collective $290 billion as of March 11—have lost $240 billion, nearly half of their prewar net worth, since January. Below is our guide to all those sanctioned so far, and a few who could be next.’
— Forbes (@Forbes) April 12, 2022
Mazepin and his father both own the villa in Sweden. The elder Mazepin has close ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin. The Italian police have seized more than one billion dollars in assets owned by Russian oligarchs.
‘Mazepin was dismissed by the U.S.-owned Formula One Hass team in March after being named on the European Union sanction list with his father—they jointly own the property, which was reportedly obtained with the help of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose erstwhile pal Vladimir Putin was a frequent visitor to the area…The elder Mazepin is a member of Putin’s inner circle and has been photographed on Berlusconi’s property by Italian paparazzi over the years.’
Why assume these Russian oligarchs’ assets (especially if located abroad) are private property protected by our 5th Amendment? Aren’t many oligarchs just arms of the Russian state?https://t.co/LTaKtovM3u
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) April 9, 2022