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Rotenberg Brothers, Putin’s Billionaire Judo Buddies, Thrown by US Sanctions

Arkady Rotenberg has transferred assets to his son to prevent them from being frozen

U.S. sanctions appear to be having an effect on government and individual Russians’ finances, if not on actual policies of the Putin regime. Billionaires in Putin’s inner circle are being hit hard, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Banks owned by Yuri Kovalchuk and Arkady and Boris Rotenberg have seen $640 million total assets frozen in the U.S. as punishment for Russia’s action in Ukraine. The lion’s share of frozen assets is owned by Kovalchuk’s Bank Rossiya which has $527 million worth of assets blocked, comprising 10% of its total assets. Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, childhood friends and judo buddies with Putin, have $65  million U.S. assets frozen or 3% of the total.

While sanctions are taking a bite out of Russia’s economy, the country doesn’t show signs of pulling out of Ukraine. Arkady Rotenberg has lost $300 million since the sanctions were imposed, and his current worth is $1.9 billion. He divested from some Russian companies and has moved a number of assets to his son Igor to avoid having them frozen.

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