Duvar English

Vladimir Potanin, a Russian oligarch who lived in Ankara for a while, has become the richest man in Russia, Forbes magazine revealed.

Potanin is one of the shareholders of the mining company Nornickel. His worth was estimated at $25 billion.

Potanin has replaced Leonid Mikhelson, the owner of the major natural gas industry player Novatek, as the richest person in Russia.

Mikhelson ranked third in the list with a net worth of $24.6 billion. He was bumped down from second place by Vagit Alekperov who is estimated to be worth $24.9 billion.

A family affair

Potanin’s father Oleg Potanin was the trade attaché for the Soviet Union Embassy in Ankara in the late 1960s. He played a major role in the 1967 trade deal signed between the USSR and Ankara that led to a host of industrial structures being built in Turkey.

Potanin’s father Oleg Potanin was the trade attaché for the Soviet Union Embassy in Ankara in the late 1960s. He played a major role in the 1967 trade deal signed between the USSR and Ankara that led to a host of industrial structures being built in Turkey.

Due to his father’s post in Ankara, Vladimir Potanin attended the elementary school in the USSR Embassy in Turkey’s capital.

Often dubbed “the Oligarch from Ankara,” Potanin often spent summers in the Aegean town of İzmir while he lived in Turkey, continuing his trips there even after his return to his home country.

Potanin’s daughter was introduced to windsurfing in İzmir’s Alaçatı district and went on to become a European windsurfing champion.

The Russian oligarch had introduced his long-time business partner Mikhail Prokhorov to the coastal town of Alaçatı where the latter bought a $17 million estate to open a surfing school.

Potanin was in the news in 2016 about a divorce lawsuit filed by his wife Natalia Potanina that asked for an approximate $15 billion settlement which the courts dismissed.

Had it been approved, Potanina’s claim would have made for the largest divorce settlement in history.