Jewish Voice

November 28th, 2014
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A Quarter of Russia’s Richest are Jewish

A Quarter of Russia’s Richest are Jewish

According to a report published by Russian banking website, nearly one quarter of the 200 richest people in Russia are Jewish. The site gives the combined net worth of the 48 Jews listed as $132.9 billion.

The nationalities of all the 200 billionaires were analyzed in the report. The findings showed remarkable that less than half, exactly 89, were actually ethnic Russians. This is despite the fact that 81% of Russia’s overall population is ethnic Russian.

A prominent activist in the Russian Jewish Community, Alex Tenzer, advised of the dangers of publicizing such a list, and the potential for it to encourage xenophobia. He emphasized that as a result of economic sanctions placed over the Ukraine crisis, Russia has experienced its first downturn in five years of quality of living.

Tenzer said, "The ruble has decreased 20% compared to the dollar, and after a long term there is a decrease in Putin's popularity. I'm concerned this could lead to a hatred of foreigners in Russia. If you sum up the Russian elite, you can say that most of the funds and most of the wealth in Russia belongs to a population of people who are not Russian, and this is a real danger, especially now.”

The list is comprised of twenty-two different ethnicities, with the most prominent being Jewish representation. The Jews are the most successful economically group when compared to their overall population size. On the list, the Jews were classified into two groups: Ashkenazis, who originate from central and Eastern Europe, and Kavkazis, descendants of Persian Jews from Iran.

Out of the 48 Jews on the list, 42 are Ashkenazi and have a combined net worth of $122.3 billion. $2.9 billion stands as the average net worth of each Ashkenazi billionaire.

The richest Ashkenazi and Russia’s second wealthiest man is Mikhail Fridman, who has a net worth is $17.6 billion.

Even though only 0.11% of Russia’s population is Jewish Ashkenazis, they represent 21% of all of the country’s billionaires. The Ashkenazi billionaires include Viktor Vekselberg (net worth of $17.2 billion), Leonid Michelson (net worth of $15.6 billion), German Khan (net worth of $11.3 billion), Mikhail Prokhorov (net worth of $10.9 billion), and Roman Abramovich (net worth of $9.1 billion).

Six Kavkazi Jews appear on the list, with a net worth totaling $10.6 billion. The wealthiest Kavkazi Jew has a net worth of $3.6 billion, and the least of $0.5 billion.

According to the Russian Bureau of Statistics, there are 762 Russian citizens classified as Kavkazi Jews and they represent only 0.00035% of the population. The Kavkazi Jews of Russia are the richest ethnic group in the country when compared to Russia’s overall population.

The list is comprised of 24 Ukrainians, 8 Tatars, 7 Armenians, 3 of local origin, 3 from Ingushetia, 2 Uzbeks, and several other nationalities. $165 billion is the net worth of the rest of the people on the list.


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