Ukraine Prosecutor General announces seizure of Russian oligarch’s assets
© JURIST
Ukraine Prosecutor General announces seizure of Russian oligarch’s assets

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova Monday announced the seizure of Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman’s assets worth 12.4 billion hryvnia (approximately 420 million USD). The Prosecutor General’s investigation found that “[t]hese [securities] were in the accounts of [a] bank… which is one of the ten largest financial institutions and included in the systemically important banks of Ukraine. Its beneficial owners are Russian businessmen.”

Fridman’s assets were “securities of Cypriot companies affiliated with [him] that were in bank accounts.” Further, Venediktova wrote:

The movement of funds in the Russian direction began a couple of weeks before the war and activated with the start of a full-scale invasion. Friedman and the businessmen controlled by him used the bank and Cypriot companies to draw funds from possible sanctions and other coercive measures.

A press release stated the investigation found:

Russian oligarch and businessmen, using controlled Cypriot companies and the bank, legalized the assets of these companies totaling UAH 1.1 billion before the war and during the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine. Subsequently, they withdrew some of the assets from the banking system in Ukraine, and the other was seized.

Thus, the Russian oligarch and businessmen tried to avoid possible negative consequences in the form of sanctions and the application of measures of forced revocation of property rights under Ukrainian law.

The European Union (EU) previously sanctioned Fridman, along with 26 other individuals, in February 2022 as part of the EU’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.