Oligarch Alisher Usmanov likes waiters to open Champagne bottles with swords at a luxury getaway known as his 'special place,' a report says
Alisher Usmanov has been throwing lavish parties at his Bavarian mansions, locals have told the New York Times.
At these events, the oligarch reportedly asked to open champagne bottles with swords.
He was in Bavaria when his name was put on the EU sanctions list, it said.
Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov reportedly likes it when waiters open champagne bottles with swords at parties he throws at one of his favorite luxury venues.
The New York Times first reported the story.
Oligarchs are widely known for their lavish lifestyles and their penchant for super yachts, private jets and mansions. In Usmanov's case, according to the Times, he likes to retire to an idyllic lakeside setting.
His press team told the publication that Rottach-Egern, a town near Lake Tegernsee in Bavaria, Germany, holds a "special place" in his heart.
Usmanov owns three villas in the area and is known for hosting his wealthy friends there, according to the Times.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russian individuals, some linked to President Vladimir Putin. This has left the Russian economy in free fall amid the seizure and freezing of oligarch assets. Many large companies, from McDonald's to Goldman Sachs, have ceased operations in the country.
Insiders contacted Usmanov's press team, but did not immediately receive a response.
A local craftsman who renovated the Usmanov villas in Rottach-Egern told the newspaper that he and other workers were owed around $1 million for work that Usmanov was unable to pay due to sanctions.
Usmanov was staying in one of his villas when he was put on the EU's sanctions list in February, locals told the newspaper. He managed to board his private jet from Munich a few hours later but did not use his Russian passport, airport officials told local news media.
Martin Calsow, a German crime novelist, told the Times: “This valley was not only a haven for the rich, but also for the very opaque. It has a long tradition.”
Umanov's press team told the Times that the properties in question "were transferred to a trust in a fully transparent and legal manner years ago." They added: "Mr. Usmanov had nothing to do with the Ukraine crisis and was not close to Mr. Putin."
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Uzbekistan-born Russian businessman and oligarch (1953-)
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