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War in Ukraine: Despite Sanctions, Russian Billionaires Got Rich

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Russian billionaires got rich in 2022, despite  international sanctions  imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine . As Reuters relayed on Saturday, the Russian edition of Forbes magazine indicated that the richest Russian nationals had seen their capital grow. The total wealth of Russian billionaires has increased from $353 billion in 2022 to $505 billion in 2023, an increase of $152 billion. The number of billionaires has also increased. In one year, they went from 88 to 110, and this, while five of these Russian nationals renounced their citizenship because of the offensive carried out in Ukraine.

More expensive raw materials

While the Russian economy has shrunk by an average of 2.1% in 2022, the export of raw materials from Russia has continued, particularly to China, India and countries in the Middle East.

The price of these materials – such as fertilizer, oil or metals – has jumped. The barrel of oil from the Urals, for example, was sold on average at 76.09 dollars in 2022. Last year, it cost 69 dollars.

A fortune less strong than before the war

The overall wealth of billionaires, however, remained lower than before the war in Ukraine, where it stood at $606 billion. Forbes magazine has indeed indicated that “last year’s rating results were also influenced by doomsday predictions about the Russian economy”.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April raised its growth forecast for Russia in 2023 from 0.3% to 0.7%. However, its forecast for 2024 was lowered from 2.1% to 1.3%, predicting labor shortages in Russia and the exodus of Western companies. 

Source: Le Journal du Dimanche

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