Ukraine war: Abramovich's ex-wife is 'hiding' in £19m London mansion

Roman Abramovich’s ex-wife is ‘hiding’ in her £19m London mansion and ‘living in fear’ her £500M fortune may be next on UK’s sanction list – after ex-husband’s £3.2bn assets were frozen

  • The ex-wife of Roman Abramovich is said to be ‘living in fear’ 
  • Irina Abramovich, 54, is reported to be in hiding at one of her luxury UK homes 
  • She has not been sanctioned by the UK or the EU, unlike her ex-husband
  • But she ‘fears her luxury lifestyle could be under threat’

The ex-wife of Roman Abramovich is said to be ‘living in fear’ that her estimated £500million fortune could be frozen if she is targeted by sanctions.

Former Aeroflot air hostess Irina Abramovich, 54, is reported to be have been in hiding at one of her luxury UK homes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Irina, who is the mother of the under-fire oligarch’s five oldest children, has not been sanctioned by the UK or the EU, unlike her ex-husband.

But one of her former security guards says she fears her luxury lifestyle could be under threat due to her wealth being derived from her divorce from the Russian-born billionaire.

The exact size of her fortune is unknown, but she is known to own have a lavish property portfolio including homes in London, West Sussex, Moscow and St Tropez.

The ex-wife of Roman Abramovich is said to be ‘living in fear’ that her estimated £500million fortune could be frozen if she is targeted by sanctions

Former Aeroflot air hostess Irina Abramovich, 54, is reported to be have been in hiding at one of her luxury UK homes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Irina, who is the mother of the under-fire oligarch’s five oldest children, has not been sanctioned by the UK or the EU, unlike her ex-husband

Sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich was spotted in a VIP lounge on Monday before he left Tel Aviv for Istanbul. Flight tracking data shows his Gulf Stream then flew from Istanbul to Moscow on Tuesday, where it is believed to remain

Abramovich’s luxury lifestyle is being squeezed by EU and UK sanctions – and now the US has moved to prevent his Gulfstream plane from making international flights

Irina was initially rumoured to have been in line for a payout of more than £2billion after she and Chelsea FC owner Abramovich split up in 2007 after a 16-year marriage.

But the couple chose to divorce in Russia where settlements are kept secret and are often far smaller than those awarded by UK courts.

Russia’s respected business daily Vedomosti later reported that she received £155million including former marital homes, a yacht and a plane and separate allowances for her children.

Some estimates suggest that her fortune could have grown to £500million with the benefit of wise investments.

The houses she received include Fyning Hall set in a 450-acre estate near Petersfield, West Sussex, and two neighbouring Georgian mansions in Chester Square in London’s Belgravia.

MailOnline can reveal that Land Registry records name Irina as still being the owner of all three properties, having been assigned ownership on her divorce in 2007.

One of the five storey houses in Chester Square was originally bought in 2006 for £10.37million, making it worth more than £20.8million today after house price inflation.

The neighbouring house was said to have been bought to £9.3million in 2005, valuing it at more than £19.5million at today’s prices.

The Fyning Hall estate which was bought by Abramovich from Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer for a reported £12million in 1999 is now said to be worth at least £18m.

Abramovich made his fortune buying up discounted state assets after the collapse of the Soviet Union and was one of the oligarchs that make up Russia’s wealthy elite. The West has imposed sanctions on them in an attempt to put pressure on Vladimir Putin

The main house is said to have eight bedrooms and five lavishly furnished reception rooms with an additional five houses and nine cottages for staff on the estate.

A villager told MailOnline that the estate also included extensive equestrian facilities used by Abramovich’s horse-loving daughter Sofia, 27, as well as polo pitches and a swimming pool.

The disgruntled near neighbour described it as ‘a home of unimaginable levels of comfort and luxury’ with ‘menacing security staff who travel around the area in a fleet of black 4x4s’.

He added: ‘Personally I’d like to see the police turning up there today to remove the whole lot of them and then they can turn the whole lot over to be a shelter for displaced Ukrainians.’

Roman Abramovich’s property empire will be included in the Chelsea deal but the Blues are set to lose Antonio Rudiger on a free… as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy keeps a close eye on the sale 

Chelsea’s new owners will also acquire a significant property portfolio around Stamford Bridge worth tens of millions of pounds as a legacy of Roman Abramovich’s attempts to redevelop the ground.

The Russian bought up numerous properties, including two hotels, apartments and a mansion block on the Fulham Road, when Chelsea were seeking planning permission to rebuild the ground five years ago — and all those assets are believed to be included in the sale of the club.

The planning permission expired in 2020, but owning land around Stamford Bridge will be crucial for the next owners when they seek to revive the redevelopment project.

The leaked Paradise Papers showing inter-linked investments of some of the world’s richest people revealed in 2017 that Irina had undisclosed assets in a former Maltese registered company called Gabriel Malta Ltd.

The company was incorporated in 2014 and has since been dissolved.

Another data leak in 2021, revealed that Irina was one of 851 wealthy Russians who had applied to seek Maltese citizenship under a controversial programme.

The scheme promised to provide successful applicants with an EU passport in just 12 months after due diligence, the transfer of €650,000, and the rental or purchase of a property in Malta.

It is not known whether her bid for a Maltese passport was successful or what her current citizenship status is, although she has lived in the UK for many years.

Companies House records in the UK relating to a company which she was once a shareholder of, described her only as being resident in the UK.

A former soldier who spent years travelling the world while protecting Abramovich and his family told the Sun how Irina was with ‘living in fear’ of the prospect of being hit by sanctions in the future.

The source who has not been named told the newspaper: ‘There’s wealth and riches — and then there’s Roman Abramovich-inspired money. It sparked opulence off the scale.’

Describing her shopping habits, he added: ‘She was always Harrods’ No1 customer. She got designer clothes by the ton. She’s the Imelda Marcos of London.’

The close protection officer, who worked for Team Fusion which provided security for Abramovich and his family, added: ‘Irina is usually out on the town every night.

‘Now she doesn’t know where to turn. She fears her UK days are over for good.’

He went on: ‘Russian oligarchs are to blame for Ukraine. Seeing blood money syphoned off into London and funding their lavish lifestyles needs to be stopped.’

Irina was said to have found solace in the Orthodox Church after the collapse of her marriage, although still leading a jet set lifestyle.

Speaking in a rare interview with Russian Tatler in 2018, she spoke about her life away from Abramovich, saying: ‘I can’t agree that my lifestyle is too private.

‘Yes, it lacks the beau monde shine – but there is enough light in it.

Abramovich’s Gulfstream heads the list of 100 sanctioned planes issued by the Department of Commerce on Friday. Officials said it effectively means it cannot leave Russia

Flight tracking data show that the plane, with tail sign LX-RAY, flew from Istanbul, Turkey, to Moscow and the safety of Russian airspace on Tuesday

‘And this light comes from communication within my family, meetings with friends, frequent trips around the world, meetings with people from different cultural backgrounds.

‘Maybe you can hardly see me at public events but we can often see each other in the church, at an exhibition, in a museum or the theatre.”

Irina stressed: ‘My home is always open to my friends. I prefer parties at home to restaurants.

‘It is much more precious for me when I can share the events of my life with the people spiritually close to me, to be happy alongside them, to complain about something, to ask for their prayers.

‘Many of them are well-known public people who value friendship and sincere relations very highly. It is a mutual thing.’

Abramovich married his first wife Olga Yurevna Lysova, 56, in 1987 before he made his shadowy fortune from privatised former state energy assets after the break up of the old Soviet Union.

But the couple split up after three years, and Irina became his second wife after he met her on an Aeroflot flight to Germany.

He and Irina had five children together – Anna, 30, a philosophy graduate who lives in the US, budding businessman Arkadiy, 28, equestrian Sofia, 27, who has partied with the Beckhams and Arina, 21, and 19-year-old Ilya.

Abramovich also has two younger children with his third wife Dasha Zhukova, 40, but the couple announced their separation in 2017.

He was said to be worth £9billion before being sanctioned by the UK Government over his ‘clear connections’ with the Kremlin, and is now said to be dating 25-year-old Russian actress Alexandra Korendyuk.

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