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10 Things you Didn't Know About Alisher Usmanov

Alisher Usmanov

Alisher Usmanov is a Russian businessman and oligarch who is one of the world’s wealthiest people. Although he originally made his money from metal and mining, his wealth increased following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and he now has business interests in multiple industries. Usmanov is one of the Russian Oligarchs that has faced sanctions from Europe and the United States following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

1. He Was born in Uzbekistan

Alisher Usmanov was born on September 9, 1953, in the provincial town of Chust in Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union, which is now Uzbekistan. Usmanov moved to Moscow after he failed to secure a career as a diplomat. He was initially rejected by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations but was accepted by the institute a year later.

2. Usminov Has Served Time in Prison

In August 1980, Alisher Usmanov was arrested in Uzbek, SSR. The charges included shaking down an Army officer, corruption, fraud, and theft of state property. He was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to eight years in prison. However, he was released after completing only six years of his prison sentence in a remote Uzbek prison.

3. He Has Invested in the Media Industry

Although he became a billionaire through his metal and mining businesses, Usmanov has since diversified his investment interests into many other industries, including media. In 2006, he bought the Kommersant newspaper for $200 million. Usmanov also bought sakes in a sports television channel, a Russian television music channel, Disney Russia, and several other television channels. He invested in both Twitter and Facebook but has since sold his share in Facebook.

4. He Is Married to Irina Viner

In 1992, Usmanov married Irina Viner, who is a rhythmic gymnastics coach, the head coach of the Russian national rhythmic gymnastics team, and the president of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Association. Through his marriage to Viner, Usmanov has a stepson who is a successful property developer.

5. Usmanov Owns Multiple Properties

Usmanov’s wealth means that he owns several palatial properties in various international locations. His Russian property is a mansion in Moscow set in 30-acres. The Russian Oligarch owns two properties in the UK, including a Grade II listed house in the London suburb of Highgate and Sutton Place, a Tudor mansion in Surrey. Furthermore, Usmanov owns a holiday villa on the Italian island of Sardinia. According to the BBC, Usmanov has put his UK properties in a trust, which protects them from the legal and financial sanctions made by the UK relating to the assets of Russian oligarchs.

6. He Is One of the World’s Greatest Philanthropists

Alisher Usmanov has been named as one of the world’s most generous philanthropists. Over 20 years, it is estimated that Usmanov donated more than $4.2 billion to charitable causes. The oligarch founded the Art, Science, and Sport Charity Fund, and he is a Trustee for various social, educational, and cultural organizations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Usmanov made significant contributions to the fight against the virus.

7. Usminov’s Net Worth is $19.5 Billion

In February 2022, it was estimated that Alisher Usmanov’s net worth was $19.5 billion, which he has made from multiple businesses and investments in various industries. It puts him on the list of the 100 wealthiest people in the world. However, he was previously worth significantly more. It is estimated that Usmanov has lost a quarter of his wealth because of the sanctions imposed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Much of Usmanov’s wealth is held in trust.

8. He Has Had Various Sporting Interests

Over the years, Alisher Usmanov has been involved with many sports clubs and associations. He was once a saber fencer for the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, which led to him founding the charitable organization For the Future of Fencing. Usmanov was also the president of the Russian Fencing Federation from 2001 to 2009, then the president of the International Fencing Federation from 2008 until he stepped down from the role in 2022. During his tenure, Usanov initiated the expansion of the Olympic fencing association to 12 disciplines. Between 2007 and 2018, Usmanov was a shareholder in the English football team Arsenal. He also has links to another English football team, Everton F.C.

9. He Names His Yachts After His Mother

In 2018, Alisher Usmanov bought his first yacht for $250 million. He named the yacht Dilbar after his mother. In 2019, it was ranked as the 38th largest yacht in the world by length, as it measured 361 feet. Usmanov bought his second yacht in 2019, which he also called Dilbar, and his second yacht is currently the largest in the world as it measures 512-feet. According to reports, Usmanov paid $800 million for the vessel, and he has employed 84 full-time crew. It also boasts the world’s largest indoor swimming pool installed on a superyacht, as it measures 180 cubic meters. When he bought the second yacht, he renamed the first yacht Ona, then sold it in 2018. German authorities seized Dilbar in March 2022 as part of European sanctions in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

10. He Owns a Private Jet

Alisher Usmanov owns one of the most expensive private jets in the world. He owns an Airbus A340-300, which cost him $230 million. The oligarch then spent a further $170 million fitting the interior with lavish features, including luxurious leather chairs, various seating areas, a stunning dining room, high-end bathrooms, and exquisite sleeping quarters. It is the biggest private jet in Russia, which means it is bigger than President Vladimir Putin’s private jet. The only person with a larger private jet is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, as he owns an Airbus A380 that is valued at approximately $502 million.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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