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Forbes: Ukraine’s wealthiest 20 lose over $20 billion due to Russia’s full-scale invasion

by Thaisa Semenova December 27, 2022 8:37 PM 3 min read
A photo shows the Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol on May 10, 2022, amid the full-scale Russian bombardment of Ukraine. (Getty Images)
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Russia’s all-out invasion slashed the net worth of Ukraine’s wealthiest, destroying plants and factories and shrinking the country’s economy by a third.

Altogether, Ukraine’s 20 richest people are worth $22.5 billion, down by over $20 billion from February 2022, Forbes Ukraine reported on Dec. 27.

In recent years, the oligarchs who control vital industries such as machinery, raw material, banking, agriculture, and chemical, invariably found themselves at the top of annual financial ratings.

Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov kept first place in the ranking, just like last year.

However, the owner of DTEK energy company and Metinvest steel and mining conglomerate lost $9.3 billion due to Russia’s all-out war in his native Donbas.

His net worth is now estimated at $4.4 billion.

The tycoon’s long list of painful business losses includes the Mariupol-based Azovstal steel plant, one of the largest in Europe, and Ukraine’s second-largest metallurgical enterprise Ilyich Iron and Steel Works.

Many of Akhmetov’s possessions were turned into warzones and were eventually destroyed by the Russians.

Akhmetov’s energy assets suffered no less since Russia started to attack critical energy infrastructure across Ukraine in early October.

Ukraine’s largest private energy company DTEK, which controls a third of the energy market and is responsible for mining the majority of the country’s coal, is a part of Akhmetov’s SCM Group.

The most recent attack on one of DTEK’s facilities resulted in the death of one employee and the injury of another while the facility was disconnected from the grid.

As of early December, the company said its enterprises were attacked 18 times, 20 people were injured, and three were killed.

Akhmetov hopes to compensate for the losses at the expense of Russia — in June, he filed a lawsuit against Moscow in the European Court of Human Rights, with the total amount of the claim may reach $20 billion.

As Ukraine’s established tycoons faced substantial losses,  tech entrepreneurs have gained positions among the country’s wealthiest.

Maksym Lytvyn and Oleksii Shevchenko, co-founders of the popular grammar-checking tool Grammarly, Ukraine’s most expensive tech startup, have entered Forbes’ list in second and third place.

The assets of each are now worth $2.3 billion. The Ukraine-born techies became billionaires after a $200 million investment deal catapulted Grammarly’s value to $13 billion.

Forbes noted that the change in the rating shows the primary trend in Ukraine’s economy that “the days of old-school businessmen are passing.”

“Their losses are disproportionately larger than their assets. There are already six entrepreneurs in the top 20 who made their fortunes in the knowledge economy almost without intersecting with the Ukrainian state,” the magazine said.

Grammarly co-founders are followed in the list by oligarchs Victor Pinchuk and Kostyantyn Zhevago, whose net worth is estimated at $2.2 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.

Last year, Pinchuk, who holds massive assets in the ironworks industry and media, was ranked second-richest Ukrainian, and Zhevago, the majority owner of London-listed Ferrexpo ore mining group, was named third.

In total, Forbes analyzed the net worth of 129 Ukrainian businessmen who were included among the top 100 richest in the past two years.

The magazine noted that some of them could get into the 2022 ranking based on their net worth but were excluded from the list due to loss of citizenship or changes in high treason against them.

For example, Ihor Kolomoiskyi, who last year ranked fourth in the ranking valued at $1.8 billion, was allegedly stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by President Volodymyr Zelensky in July.

The list of the 20 richest Ukrainians includes:

Top 20
Main Assets
Net Worth
Rinat Akhmetov
SCM, Metinvest, DTEK
$4.4 billion
Maksym Lytvyn
$2.3 billion
Oleksii Shevchenko
$2.3 billion
Victor Pinchuk
Interpipe Group
$2.2 billion
Kostyantyn Zhevago
$1.4 billion
Oleksandr and Halyna Hereha
$1.2 billion
Vlad Yatsenko
$1.1 billion
Vadym Novinsky
Metinvest (24%)
$1 billion
Hennadii Boholiubov
Privat Group
$1 billion
Serhii Tihipko
TAS, CreditMarket, Universal Bank
$870 million
Maks Poliakov
IT, space, dating
$800 million
Petro Poroshenko
$730 million
Yurii Kosiuk
$520 million
Mykola Zlochevskyi
$500 million
Vitalii Khomutynnyk
$490 million
Andrii Verevskyi
$400 million
Taras Kytsmei
SoftServe $360 million
Stepan Chernovetskyi IT, real estate
$350 million
Oleksandr Yaroslavskyi DCH
$340 million
Oleksandr Konotopskyi Ajax Systems
$320 million

The Forbes magazine also made a separate list of the individuals who have never been previously included in the top 100 richest Ukrainians but “have every chance to make it there immediately after the end of thewar.”

The vast majority of the list comprises IT company owners and co-founders, such as SoftServe technology company and Parimatch Tech.

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