Abramovich, Roman

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1966-

Russian entrepreneur and politician

Abramovich was born in Saratov in southern Russia. His mother died when he was 18 months old, and his father was killed in a construction accident when he was four. He was first taken to live with his uncle in Moscow, then with his maternal grandparents in the Komi republic, northeast of Moscow.

He attended college in Ukhta and was drafted into the army. He began to amass his fortune in his mid twenties, and is now one of the richest men in the world, with a fortune estimated in mid-2004 at up to £7.5 billion, based on oil (sibneft), airlines (Aeroflot), aluminium (RusAl), car manufacturing (GAZ), metals, banking (Avtobank), insurance (Ingosstrakh), hydroelectric generation, pulp and paper, etc. In 2003 he bought a major share of the English Premier League soccer team Chelsea for £29.6 million.

He also owns a Russian ice hockey team.

In 1999 he was elected to the Russian Duma as a member for Chukotka and in 2001 he was elected governor of Chukotka, where is spending large amount of his personal fortune on the regional infrastructure. According to the London Guardian, there is some speculation about the legality of his business methods politics, and none at all that his commercial and political behavior owes more to the 19th century robber barons of Europe and America than to more ethical standards, taking advantage of loopholes in the Russian privatization legislation and the ignorance of ordinary Russians.
[Last updated: 10 MAY 2004

References:

Ananova. "Roman Abramovich profile." Available at: http://www.ananova.com/sport/soccer/PREM/Chelsea/story/sm_796030.html?menu= [Last visited: 10 May 2004]
Rusnet.nl. "Encyclopedia :: A :: Abramovich, Roman." [Includes portrait]. Available at: http://www.rusnet.nl/encyclo/a/abramovich.shtml [Last visited: 10 May 2004
Levy, Adrian; and Scott-Clark, Cathy. "He Won, Russia Lost," Guardian [London] Weekend, 8 May 2004, pp. 14-19, 21, 23, 25-26.
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