Billionaires Flee Putin's Russia

For mainly Jewish oligarchs, wealth and power has given way to prison and exile
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2007 4:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – A cadre of 50 or so Russian businessmen struck it rich when the USSR's state-owned industries went up for grabs. But most of these billionaire oligarchs are now in prison or have fled, hounded and hectored by the KGB-style tactics of president Putin. The Guardian profiles 7 deposed plutocrats, who've made their bones in oil, aluminum and everything in between.

Most are Jews who translated their Soviet-era black market acumen into a post-Cold War advantage; but in a country teeming with anti-Semitism, Jewish entrepreneurs have had to tread lightly. Some—like Russia's richest man, Roman Abramovich—have managed to ingratiate themselves with Putin, but many are behind bars or abroad. (Read more Russia stories.)