Ukraine's oligarchs may lag behind their Russian counterparts in cash terms, but they are much more politically active – so it is no accident that the new government has called on them to back the regime. Two of the biggest have agreed to run provinces in the frontline of Russian threat. Yet Ukrainian oligarchs must look both east and west. So who are they and where do their loyalties actually lie?
The richest man in Ukraine, with $12.5bn, mostly made from iron and steel and thermoelectricity. Akhmetov has smoothed over an early reputation for mixing with tough street operators. He is the president of Shakhtar Donetsk FC. When in London, he lives at One Hyde Park. This former supporter of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych (he once lent him his private plane) and MP for the Party of the Regions now backs the new government, calling for national unity. His influence in the Russian-speaking east makes his support particularly important.
Dmytro Firtash. Photograph: Kyiv Post
Ukraine's best-known oligarch, worth $3.2bn. He offered belated support to the protesters after Yanukovych fled, but then turned down the new government's request for assistance. The son-in-law of former president Kuchma treads a fine line between east and west. This friend of Tony Blair, and one of the world's biggest Damien Hirst collectors, made his money selling steel pipes. Claims that he has engaged in dumping (selling goods too cheaply for the purpose of undercutting competitors) in the US and Russia, and the collapse of his Russian insurance company, have depleted his fortune, but he remains the second-richest man. Pinchuk funds Blair's Faith Foundation, for his sins.
The founder of Privat Bank, Kolomoisky has answered the call from the new Ukrainian president to run the central Dnipropetrovsk province. He is well qualified, as he owns the local football team, FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. He is thought to be worth $3bn. A fierce opponent of the Yanukovych regime, he was once allied with Tymoshenko.
The "Chocolate King" made his $1bn trading cocoa beans, before diversifying into media. Said to be the most popular man in Ukraine, he backed the Orange Revolution and fought Yanukovych. He stuck doggedly to his pro-EU line in the teeth of opposition.
Just 28, but said to have made $2.4bn through gas sales. He used some of it to buy the football team Metalist Kharkiv. This friend of the Yanukovych family is on an EU sanctions list and has fled the country for Belarus. He says he faces no criminal charges and the corruption allegations are motivated by competitors.