Russian Oligarchs

Yelena Baturina: Billionaire Businesswoman and Inteco Founder

Early Life and Education

Yelena Baturina, born on March 8, 1963, in Moscow, Russia, grew up in a modest family. Her parents, Tamara Afanasyevna and Nikolai Egorovich, were workers at the Moscow Frazer plant. Despite the financial challenges, Elena displayed determination and a strong character from a young age.

Education and Early Career

Life of Yelena Baturina
Life of Yelena Baturina

Elena’s pursuit of education led her to the evening department of the Ordzhonikidze Institute. Simultaneously, she worked at the Frazer plant, gaining experience in high-precision tool production. Her industrious nature and ambition were evident as she took on responsibilities beyond her age, working in technology departments and contributing to the development of the industry.

Entry into Entrepreneurship

In 1989, together with her older brother Victor, Elena founded a cooperative, marking the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey. The cooperative focused on various activities, from computer technology to job creation. Two years later, in 1991, the siblings established Inteko, a company initially engaged in computer technologies and later expanding into polymer products, construction, and commercial real estate.

Marriage to Yuri Luzhkov

Yuri Luzhkov and Yelena Baturina
Yuri Luzhkov and Yelena Baturina

The same year as Inteko’s inception, Elena married Yuri Luzhkov, who would later become the Mayor of Moscow. The union sparked debates about the influence of Luzhkov on Yelena Baturina‘s success, but her determination and entrepreneurial spirit were evident long before their marriage.

Yuri Luzhkov: Details

Background of Yuri Luzhkov
Background of Yuri Luzhkov

Yuri Luzhkov (1936–2019) carved a distinguished path as Moscow’s mayor from 1992 to 2010. Originating in the heart of Moscow on September 21, 1936, Luzhkov delved into the intricacies of mechanical engineering at the esteemed Gubkin Academy of Oil and Gas. His political genes transpired in August 1991 when he assumed the role of deputy mayor, steering Moscow through a transformative journey into a nucleus of post-Soviet state capitalism.

A man of robust leadership and unyielding determination, Luzhkov instigated an all-encompassing municipal metamorphosis during his tenure. This encompassed the rejuvenation of parks, boulevards, the urban panorama, and an array of civic amenities. Despite weathering allegations of managerial lapses and impropriety, notably linked to the construction endeavours of his second consort, Yelena Baturina, Luzhkov’s administration largely skirted major scandals.

Under the influence of Luzhkov, Moscow burgeoned, and in 1994, he adeptly secured President Boris Yeltsin’s concession, conferring control over the city’s extensive state holdings. The year 1996 witnessed Moscow amassing a staggering $1 billion in privatization revenues. Nonetheless, Luzhkov’s governance approach drew censure for its quasi-Soviet constraints on migrants and the destitute.

The demise of Yuri Luzhkov unfolded on December 10, 2019, in Munich, Germany, marking the culmination of a life that spanned 83 years.

Expansion and Success in the 90s

Throughout the 1990s, under Luzhkov’s mayoralty, Elena’s business thrived. Inteko secured significant contracts, including the production of 80 thousand plastic seats for the Luzhniki stadium. Despite accusations of corruption, Baturina defended the transactions, emphasizing the cost-effectiveness of working with her company.

By the late 90s, Inteko had a dominant presence in the Russian market, with Baturina ranking as the third-richest woman globally by 2000, amassing a fortune estimated at $2.9 billion.

Challenges and Changes in the 2000s

Luzhkov’s Political Decline

As Yuri Luzhkov’s political career declined in the 2010s, so did the fortunes of Yelena Baturina‘s Russian business. Luzhkov’s dismissal from the mayor’s office and subsequent investigations into corruption led to financial setbacks for Inteko. The company faced scrutiny, and large sums were allegedly misappropriated.

Capital Relocation

Anticipating the challenges, Baturina withdrew her capital from Russia in 2006, investing in projects abroad. The sale of Inteko in 2011 marked a significant shift in her business strategy.

International Ventures and Continued Success

Foreign Business Expansion

Post the sale of Inteko, Baturina delved into the hotel industry, developing luxury hotels in Austria, Ireland, and the Czech Republic. She also ventured into real estate, renewable energy, and alternative energy sources, successfully investing in solar parks in southern Europe.

Charitable and Social Involvement

Beyond business, Yelena Baturina actively engages in charitable initiatives. Her foundation, BE OPEN, supports young talents in design, architecture, writing, and science. She was involved in projects like NOOSPHERE and Home to the World, showcasing her commitment to social causes.

Passion for Equestrian Sports

Yelena Baturina served as the president of the National Federation for Equestrian Sports from 1999 to 2005. Her involvement extended to organizing competitions, repairing equestrian centres, and supporting children’s schools.

Yelena Baturina’s Net Worth

Yelena Baturina, a Russian businesswoman, has had a remarkable financial journey over the past few years. In 2018, her reported net worth was at least £25 million, indicating a substantial increase to her current estimated worth of $1.3 billion as of December 11, 2023, according to Forbes.

Baturina is known for her role as a Russian oligarch and is the founder of Inteco, a company specializing in construction and the plastic business. Her wealth and success in business have positioned her among the affluent individuals globally.

Apart from her business endeavours, Baturina was married to Yuri Luzhkov, the former mayor of Moscow, from 1991 until his passing in 2019. This personal connection adds a layer of complexity to her public image, as her life intertwines with the political landscape of Moscow.

Baturina’s journey from a reported net worth of £25 million in 2018 to approximately $1.3 billion in 2023 reflects her significant success in the business world. The fluctuations in her net worth over the years underscore the dynamic nature of wealth in the lives of prominent figures like her.

YearNet Worth (in billions)
20141 Billion
20151 Billion
20161.1 Billion
20171 Billion
20181.2 Billion
20191.2 Billion
20201.3 Billion
20211.3 Billion
20221.3 Billion
20231.3 Billion

Inteco: Details and Background

INTECO is a Russian developer group of companies that specializes in integrated development projects in Moscow and the regions of Russia. It was founded in 1991 and its controlling shareholder is National Bank TRUST. The group’s headquarters are located in Moscow.

In 2011, INTEСO was sold to the SAFMAR group, and in 2017, control over INTEСO passed to the Banking Sector Consolidation Fund, which formed a new board of directors for the company. In 2018, the shares of INTECO were transferred to the Bank of Non-core Assets, established on the basis of the bank «TRUST». In 2019, INTEСO re-branded and introduced a new logo. 

Personal Life and Loss

Marriage and Family

Elena’s personal life intertwined with her professional journey. Her marriage to Yuri Luzhkov, with whom she had two daughters, Elena and Olga, shaped both her public image and the dynamics of her business ventures.

Yuri Luzhkov’s Death

The death of Yuri Luzhkov in 2019 marked a significant loss for Elena Baturina. Despite the personal tragedy, she continued her business activities, displaying resilience in the face of adversity.

Present and Future

In 2022, Baturina’s fortune was estimated at $1.4 billion, and she continues to pursue business ventures across multiple countries. While she maintains a low profile in the media, her involvement in various industries, from construction to renewable energy, remains a testament to her enduring entrepreneurial spirit.


There are several controversies surrounding Yelena Baturina, a Russian oligarch and founder of Inteco:

Alleged links to criminal groups

Following leaked diplomatic cables, the US ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, reported allegations that Baturina had links to major criminal groups, particularly Solntsevskaya Bratva. Beyrle also suggested that Baturina and her husband, Yuri Luzhkov, denied the accusations as “total rubbish.”

Libel’s case against her brother

Baturina was involved in a libel case against a former financial director for her brother. After failing to appear before a court in December 2019, she was declared a fugitive in Russia’s republic of Kalmykia.

Business relationship with Hunter Biden

Notably, the Biden administration’s public sanctions list for Russian oligarchs does not contain Baturinas. She has not been sanctioned by the US or EU.

Charity involvement

Baturina has been involved in local and international charities since the 1990s. In 2019, she stepped down as a trustee of the Mayor’s Fund for London, a charity that raises money for social causes, after a Finance Uncovered investigation.


Yelena Baturina, born in 1963 in Moscow, overcame modest beginnings to become a prominent Russian businesswoman. Her determination led her to the Ordzhonikidze Institute while working at the Frazer plant. In 1989, she co-founded a cooperative and later established Inteko in 1991, branching into various industries. Marrying Yuri Luzhkov, Moscow’s mayor, in 1991, her success stirred debates, but her entrepreneurial spirit preceded their union.

In the 1990s, under Luzhkov’s mayoralty, Inteko thrived, making Baturina one of the world’s wealthiest women by 2000. However, challenges arose in the 2010s with Luzhkov’s political decline, impacting Inteko. Baturina relocated her capital abroad in 2006, eventually selling Inteko in 2011.

Post-sale, she ventured into international businesses, including hotels and renewable energy. Baturina is actively involved in charitable initiatives, notably through her foundation, BE OPEN. Her net worth fluctuated, reaching $1.3 billion in 2023. Controversies surround her alleged links to criminal groups, a libel case, and a business relationship with Hunter Biden. Despite personal losses, including Luzhkov’s death in 2019, Baturina remains resilient in her varied business ventures, symbolizing enduring entrepreneurial spirit.

Alexander Harris

Alexander Harris - The Digital Bloodhound Alexander isn't your typical investigative journalist. He thrives in the digital world, scouring the web for hidden connections and leaked documents. An expert data analyst and coder, he builds intricate digital trails to expose fraud, cybercrime, and government overreach. Alexander Harris began his career as a journalist. He is one of the founders of the " Russian Oligarchs Tracker Unit ".

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