The private jet of two billionaire oligarchs Arkady Rothenberg and Vladimir Potanin departs Moscow, Azerbaijan, as Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses the mercenary group Wagner of “treason” and turned to Turkey.
Two jets of Russian oligarchs Arkady Rothenberg and Vladimir Potanin took off from Moscow on Saturday, according to flight tracking service Flightradar24. The move comes hours after Wagner Group militias overran the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and began marching towards the Russian capital. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the Wagner Group of “treason” in a Saturday morning speech and vowed that the organizers of the rebellion would face “inevitable punishment”. Wagner’s leader Evgeny Prigozhin decided to withdraw his army from the march to Moscow.
Despite Putin’s speeches, some of the country’s richest oligarchs appear to be fleeing the country. Putin’s former judo sparring partner, Arkady Rothenberg, is a construction tycoon with an estimated fortune of $3.5 billion, whose company has built many projects for Putin, including the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and a bridge connecting an area illegally annexed to Russia. has contracted several of the valuable projects of Crimea peninsula of Ukraine. According to Flightradar24, Rothenberg’s Bombardier BD700 with tail number RA-73555 left Moscow on Saturday and landed in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, shortly after 5pm local time. Rothenberg faces sanctions from the US, UK, European Union, Switzerland and Canada.
Vladimir Potanin is Russia’s second-richest person with an estimated fortune of $23.7 billion, much of which is held in shares of mining giant Norilsk Nickel. Also according to Flightradar24, the Gulfstream G650 jet, tail number RA-11005, attached to Norilsk Nickel via a Cyprus offshore company, departed Moscow at 5:00 pm local time on Saturday, arriving around 9:30 pm. It is expected to arrive in Istanbul. (Istanbul and Moscow are in the same time zone.) Potanin is sanctioned by the US, UK and Canada.
Neither Turkey nor Azerbaijan imposes sanctions on Russia’s oligarchy, making them attractive destinations for sanctioned billionaires seeking to escape Russian turmoil. Representatives for Rothenberg and Potanin did not respond to requests for comment. forbes.
The news of leaving First reported by Russian investigative agency IStories. It is also unclear whether Putin is still in Moscow. Two presidential planes left the capital for St. Petersburg on Saturday, but their transponders were switched off, meaning they could not be tracked. Putin’s spokesman said Putin “works in the Kremlin” and denied he had left the city, according to TASS news agency.