Sanctions Against Oligarchs

German Khan: Struggles with Worldwide Sanctions Over Ukraine Involvement

German Khan, born in 1961 in Kyiv, Ukraine, is a Ukrainian-Russian businessman with a net worth of USD 8.9 billion. Born to Ukrainian Jewish parents, he graduated from a college in manufacturing and technology at 18 and worked as a mechanic at the Kyiv Experimental and Development Plant for Non-Standard Equipment. After re-entering education, he worked for the Kosmos cooperative and founded his own cooperative business, Alexandrina, in 1989. Khan’s entrepreneurial career led him to become a billionaire, serving as Chief of Wholesale at Alfa-Eco from 1990 to 1992.

He held various executive director and board member positions within Alfa Group, managing tens of billions of dollars. In 1997, when Alfa Group bought Tyumen Oil Company, Khan joined the Board of Directors. As of February 2023, he is the 219th richest person in the world and one of Russia’s highest-profile billionaires. Khan is also a philanthropist, supporting the Genesis Philanthropy Group and European Jewish Fund, along with his colleagues Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, which promote Judaism in Russia and the Russian-speaking Jewish diaspora worldwide.

UK imposed sanctions on Khan for their alleged involvement in the invasion of Ukraine

UK imposed sanctions on Khan
UK imposed sanctions on Khan

Khan and a group of Russian oligarchs were singled out by the UK in March 2022 for penalties because of their alleged involvement in the invasion of Ukraine. Khan was charged with cultivating a close connection and mutually beneficial exchange of favors with Putin. His purported closeness to the president of Russia sparked worries about how he may use their connection for personal advantage and possibly sway geopolitical decisions.

The sanctions, which attempted to limit their economic influence and break alleged connections that were aiding the fight, highlighted how serious these accusations were. Such acts signaled a stance against entities purportedly implicated in actions detrimental to international stability and Ukraine’s sovereignty, and they constituted a coordinated effort to hold powerful figures accountable.

EU Sanction list Included German Khan For his Alleged Close Ties To Putin

EU Sanction list
EU Sanction list

Khan was enmeshed in an ongoing court struggle in November 2023 after his petition to be included on the sanctions list against Russia was rejected by the General Court of the European Union. This list singled out specific people—Khan included—because of their alleged close ties to Putin and significant roles in Russia’s political system. The seriousness of the claims of Khan’s close ties to the Russian President was shown by the court’s rejection of Khan’s case, which supported the EU’s position on applying sanctions.

The ruling reaffirmed the EU’s determination to hold anyone responsible for acts deemed to jeopardize global security and stability. Khan’s enduring legal troubles highlighted continued attempts to address claims that prominent people are connected to controversial international events, reflecting broader tensions around Russia’s geopolitical involvements.

German Khan was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for operating in the financial services sector 

Khan was subject to new sanctions for his role in Russia’s financial services industry by the US Treasury Department, marking a further step up in international actions. Concerns about Khan’s suspected involvement in activities that undermine international stability were further heightened by the sanctions, which specifically targeted him and mentioned his role in the Russian Federation’s economy. The steps taken by the US Treasury demonstrated a deliberate attempt to curtail Khan’s financial resources and prevent him from participating in Russia’s banking system.

This action was in line with larger international initiatives to isolate significant persons involved in actions that are harmful to international peace, especially those connected to the crisis in Ukraine and those suspected of having ties to Russian President Putin. Sanctions were imposed by the US in response to entities that it believed had significant influence over Russia’s economic sectors. This demonstrated the US’s determination to punish those who engaged in activities that went against US foreign policy goals and international standards. This strengthened the overall plan to hold responsible individuals who are said to have participated in destabilizing activities within the framework of the world economy.

Switzerland Included German Khan in the Swiss SECO Sanctions/Embargoes list for his alleged close ties to Putin 

Swiss SECO Sanctions/Embargoes
Swiss SECO Sanctions/Embargoes

The inclusion of Khan on the Swiss SECO Sanctions/Embargoes list, which also included notable Russians like Putin, Fridman, Aven, and Kuzmichev, was a major step forward in Switzerland’s attempts to confront allegations of connections to Putin and positions of influence inside Russia. The seriousness of the worries raised by Khan’s alleged close relationship to the Russian President and his significant standing within Russia’s power structure were furthered by this list’s development.

Switzerland has demonstrated its commitment to preserving international norms and resolving concerns relating to geopolitical crises, such as the situation in Ukraine, by including Khan among these high-profile persons implicated in activities that threaten global stability. Switzerland joined international efforts to hold those seen to have influence or to be involved in activities deemed to be detrimental to peace and security when it expanded the scope of sanctions to include Khan’s suspected involvement.

List of the countries who imposed sanctions

CountriesYear of sanction
United Kingdom15.03.2022
United States11.08.2023
Switzerland 16.03.2022
New Zealand 12.10.2022

Grounds for imposing sanctions

He is a prominent businessman from Russia who works in several economic areas, giving the Russian Federation’s government—which is in charge of annexing Crimea and destabilizing Ukraine—a sizable source of funding. The majority stakeholder of the Alfa Group conglomerate, which owns Alfa-Bank, one of Russia’s biggest taxpayers, is German Khan. He is regarded as one of Russia’s most powerful individuals. Like Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, the other shareholders of Alfa Bank, he keeps a close relationship with Vladimir Putin. Maria, the eldest daughter of Vladimir Putin, oversaw the Alfa-Endo charitable initiative, which Alfa Bank funded.


German Borisovich Khan, a Ukrainian-Russian businessman with a net worth of USD 8.9 billion, is the 219th richest person in the world and one of Russia’s highest-profile billionaires. He was targeted by the UK in March 2022 for sanctions related to their involvement in Ukraine’s invasion. The EU Sanction list included Khan for alleged close ties to Putin. In November 2023, his petition for inclusion on the sanctions list was rejected. The US Treasury Department sanctioned him for operating in Russia’s financial services sector.

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