The 22-year rule of Vladimir Putin has made vast fortunes for oligarchs, well-connected politicians, security officials, and other beneficiaries of his corrupt, personalist regime.
Early in his presidency, Putin earned praise for bringing to heel the tycoons who had plundered Russia’s economy in the 1990s. Some signaled their loyalty to him, securing their wealth and their place in the new order. A new generation of wealthy men obedient to Putin has also arisen during his reign.
They are his allies, his friends, his financiers, and his enablers.
Though average Russians have seen their incomes stagnate in recent years, the country’s wealthiest fly around the world in executive jets, lounge in Mediterranean mansions, and cruise the seas in some of the world’s biggest yachts. Their children cavort in exclusive nightclubs and receive prestigious educations at the world’s top universities.
In the wake of Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine, governments around the world have imposed sanctions on many of Putin’s enablers. But they have learned to keep their wealth obscured, hiring an army of lawyers to hide it in secretive bank accounts and corporate structures that reach far offshore. Figuring out who owns what, and how much of it, is a tall order even for experienced police investigators.
That’s why we decided to follow the trail, tracking down as many of these assets as possible and compiling them in a database for the public to see and use. We started with a list of names of people who “actively participate in the oppression and corruption of Putin’s regime” drawn up by the Anti-Corruption Foundation, led by opposition leader Alexei Navalny. We’ll be expanding it soon to include other Russians sanctioned for corruption or their support of Putin.
We looked for land, mansions, companies, boats, planes, and anything else of value that could be tied through documentary evidence to Putin’s circle. Some of these assets have been reported before. Some are being revealed here for the first time. Some are still to be discovered.
OCCRP made its final update to the Russian Asset Tracker on August 4, 2022. In total, it documented more than $19.8 billion in assets owned by Russia's rich and powerful.
Research: OCCRP ID (Lara Dihmis, Misha Gagarin, Karina Shedrofsky, Alina Tsogoeva)
Reporting, Writing, and Editing: Antonio Baquero, Lara Dihmis, Alex Dziadosz, Jared Ferrie, Brian Fitzpatrick, Kevin Hall, Ilya Lozovsky, Eli Moskowitz, Will Neal, Stelios Orphanides, Miranda Patrucic, Olesya Shmagun, Graham Stack, Tom Stocks, Drew Sullivan, Julia Wallace, Jonny Wrate
Data: Jan Strozyk
Fact-Checking: Ivana Jeremić, Olena LaFoy, Bojana Pavlović, Dima Stoianov
Media and Research Partners: Anti-Corruption Data Collective, Bird.bg (Bulgaria), Delfi Estonia, Follow the Money (Netherlands), Forbes (USA), Frontstory.pl (Poland), The Guardian (UK), infoLibre (Spain), Inside Story (Greece), Investigative Center of Jan Kuciak (Slovakia), Investigace.cz (Czech Republic), IrpiMedia (Italy), MANS (Montenegro), Miami Herald (USA), Le Monde (France), NDR (Germany), Oštro (Slovenia/Croatia), Paper Trail Media (Germany), profil (Austria), Re:Baltica, Reporter.lu (Luxembourg), Siena.lt (Lithuania), SVT (Sweden), Tamedia (Switzerland), De Tijd (Belgium), Transparency International UK
Use of Leaked Data: We would like to thank the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for allowing us to draw on the Panama Papers, the Pandora Papers, the Paradise Papers, and the FinCEN Files for this research. Both the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers were leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and explored in collaborative projects led by ICIJ. The FinCEN Files were obtained by BuzzFeed News, which helped coordinate a project with ICIJ in 2020 that delved into the files. ICIJ obtained the Pandora Papers and shared them with media partners around the world.
Translation: Romina Colman, Ilia Donskikh, Nathan Jaccard
Design and Graphics: James O’Brien, Edin Pašović
Interactive and Web: Mark Nightingale