Kirill Shamalov’s ascent to power was facilitated through deep family connections to Vladimir Putin and members of Russia’s business elite known to be loyal to the President. Leveraging these relationships, Shamalov secured leadership positions in state-owned enterprise, and eventually a hefty stake in Sibur – both of which catapulted him to becoming Russia’s youngest billionaire.

However, Shamalov’s reported divorce from Putin’s younger daughter last year has severely impacted his fortune and influence. Ironically, the case of Shamalov shows the conundrum of success in Russia in today’s sanction heavy environment – too close to the President, and you face sanctions; but the absence of a President’s patronage indicates a higher probability that sanctions will have a more meaningful personal financial impact.