Abramovich, Roman Arkadyevich

Abramovich, Roman Arkadyevich
(1966– )
   Oligarch. Born into a Jewish family in the provincial capital of Saratov, Abramovich was orphaned as a young child. As a result, he lived with his relatives in various parts of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), including Komi in the Russian Far North. He left university studies before obtaining a degree, though he later earned a correspondence degree from Moscow State Law Academy. In the late 1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika reforms permitted private enterprises, Abramovich began his business career specializing in black market goods before moving into the oil trade. In 1995, together with Boris Berezovsky, he acquired a controlling interest in the Sibneft oil company through the controversial loans for shares program. Through Berezovsky, he also developed a relationship with Boris Yeltsin’s inner circle, known as “the Family,” and was particularly close to Tatyana Dyachenko. Abramovich and Berezovsky later fell out over business dealings. Eventually, Abramovich’s business empire grew to include Aeroflot airlines, aluminum plants, automobile manufacturers, a television station, food processing companies, real estate firms, and other concerns. Indicted in several trials and fraud investigations, Abramovich has always managed to avoid conviction. In 2002, he acquired immunity from persecution by becoming an elected governor of Chukotka. During his tenure as governor (2000–2008), he invested over a billion dollars into the region, boosting local incomes and curbing unemployment. In 2005, he sold a lump share of Sibneft to the state-owned Gazprom. That year, he was reappointed as Chukotka’s governor by President Vladimir Putin, with whom he reportedly had a close working relationship. Abramovich resigned his governorship immediately after Dmitry Medvyedev was inaugurated in 2008. Ranked as one of the world’s richest figures according to Forbes magazine, Abramovich owns property in Russia and Europe, and mainly resides in Great Britain, where he is considered to be the second-richest person. He owns Millhouse Capital, a Britishregistered investment fund that manages his vast holdings. He also owns Chelsea Football Club, an English premiership football team, which accounts for his global fame. He frequently appears in the British and Russian tabloid press in relation to his extensive personal security detail, taste for fine art, and massive expenditures on cars, homes, and yachts.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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  • Russia — /rush euh/, n. 1. Also called Russian Empire. Russian, Rossiya. a former empire in E Europe and N and W Asia: overthrown by the Russian Revolution 1917. Cap.: St. Petersburg (1703 1917). 2. See Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 3. See Russian… …   Universalium