Although the fortunes of Russian oligarchs have shrunk a tad in the past few weeks— the richest of them all, scandal-hit Oleg Deripaska, may be forced to give up a stake in his mining empire if he doesn't come up with $2 billion in the next few days—that's no reason to stop lavishing attention on the new breed of Russian it-girls or "tusovshchitsa." The London Times brings us up to speed on the women who have taken full advantage of their country's sudden wealth to step into the limelight, and who are unlikely to want to relinquish it just because there are slightly fewer billions floating around.
Naturally, we're very familiar with Roman Abramovich's increasingly ubiquitous fiancée, 26-year-old Dasha Zhukova, who comes off as unassuming as ever ("Would you call me famous? I don't really think about it") and, needless to say, declines to talk about her boyfriend.
Then there's 33-year-old Yana Rudkovskaya (above), who used to run a chain of beauty salons before marrying business mogul Viktor Baturin. The couple has since split, but Yana has found fame as a pop music producer.
Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev's granddaughters Ksenia Gorbacheva, 28, and Anastasia Virganskaya, 21, are editors of the Russian edition of Grazia magazine. They're rarely seen at the office, but frequently seen at parties.
Ksenia Sobchak, who is often described as "Russia's Paris Hilton," is the daughter of a politician and the late former mayor of St. Petersburg. Like Paris, 26-year-old Ksenia prefers to devote herself to less serious pursuits: She has a perfume, a TV show, and wrote a book about how to marry an oligarch. (Before you rush to buy it, she hasn't managed to do so herself yet.)
Ulyana Tseitlina, "around 40," was on the cover of Russian Playboy and has hosted a TV show, but cheerfully admits her lavish lifestyle has been made possible by a rich ex-boyfriend.
Oleg Deripaska's wife, Polina, runs Forward Media Group, which includes the Russian edition of Hello. Not bad for a 28-year-old, but she denies that the company was a gift from her husband. And who are we to disbelieve her?
Russia's successful new It girls [Times UK]