Yury Valentinovich Kovalchuk (Russian: Юрий Валентинович Ковальчук, born 25 July 1951, Leningrad, Soviet Union) is a Russian businessman and financier "reputed to be Putin's personal banker". The May 2008 issue of Russian Forbes listed him for the first time in its Golden Hundred of Russia's richest and introduced him and another new entrant to the List, Gennady Timchenko, as "good acqaintances of Vladimir Putin." The magazine placed him at number 53 (Russians only list) with estimated fortune of $1.9 billion.
From 1987 to 1991 he was the First Deputy Director of Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute.
Since the early 1990s, Kovalchuk owns a dacha in Solovyovka, Priozersky District of the Leningrad region, which is located on the eastern shore of the Komsomolskoye lake on the Karelian Isthmus near St. Petersburg. His neighbours there are Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Yakunin, Andrei Fursenko, Sergey Fursenko, Viktor Myachin, Vladimir Smirnov and Nikolay Shamalov. On 10 November 1996, together they instituted the co-operative society Ozero (the Lake) which united their properties. 
His elder brother, Mikhail Kovalchuk, is the Scientific Secretary of the Council for Science and High Technologies attached to the President of the Russian Federation. Despite pressure from Putin, the Russian Academy of Sciences rejected Mikhail Kovalchuk's application for full membership of the Academy in May 2008. This was seen as a blow to Putin's authority, as speculation existed that Putin had wanted to Kovalchuk to become President of the RAS.
Yuri Kovalchuk was one of several individuals sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department on March 20, 2014 in response to the 2014 Crimean crisis. According to the U.S. Treasury, Mr. Kovalchuk is a close advisor to President Putin and has been referred to as one of his “cashiers.”
References and notes
- "Russians make leap forward on global billionaires' list". Radio Liberty. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- Kremlin-linked tycoon eyes Russia media firm-report reuters.com 23 April 2008.
- Anna Shcherbakova. Interview with Mikhail Klishin, Director general of the Russia Bank. Vedomosti #35(1316), 1 March 2005. (in Russian)
- The Origin of Putin's Oligarchy by Vladimir Pribylovsky. Ms., 11 October 2005. (in Russian)
- The Russia Bank, Stockmap.spb.ru
- How the 1980s Explains Vladimir Putin. The Ozero group. By Fiona Hill & Clifford G. Gaddy, The Atlantic, February 14 2013
- Владимир Прибыловский, Юрий Фельштинский. Операция "Наследник". Главы из книги. Штрихи к политическому портрету В. В. Путина
- Blomfield, Adrian (2008-05-30). "Russian scientists reject Vladimir Putin ally". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-06-01.[dead link]
- "Treasury Sanctions Russian Officials, Members Of The Russian Leadership’s Inner Circle, And An Entity For Involvement In The Situation In Ukraine". 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- Biography (in Russian).
- The country of opportunities. Interview with Yury Kovalchuk, Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti, 9 July 2005 (in Russian).
- Gaining unity. Interview with Yury Kovalchuk, Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti #133 (2523), 25 July 2001 (in Russian).
- a picture of Kovalchuk
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