- Alisher Usmanov has held lavish parties at his Bavarian villas, locals told the New York Times.
- At these events, the oligarch asked for Champagne bottles to be opened with a sword, per the report.
- He was staying in Bavaria when his name was put on the EU sanctions list, it added.
Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov reportedly likes waiters to open Champagne bottles with swords at parties he hosts at one of his favorite luxury spots.
The New York Times first reported the story.
Oligarchs are widely known for their lavish lifestyles and penchant for superyachts, private jets, and mansions. In Usmanov's case, he likes to retreat to an idyllic lakeside area, per the Times.
His press team told the publication that Rottach-Egern, a town near the Tegernsee lake in Bavaria, Germany, has a "special place" in his heart.
Usmanov owns three villas in the area and is known to host his wealthy friends there, according to the Times.
Since the Ukraine invasion, Western countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russian individuals, some of whom are linked to President Vladimir Putin. This has left the Russian economy in freefall, amid the seizure and freezing of oligarchs' assets. Many big businesses, from McDonald's to Goldman Sachs, have shut down operations in the country.
Insider reached out to Usmanov's press team but did not immediately get a response.
A local craftsman, who was renovating the Usmanov villas in Rottach-Egern, told the newspaper that he and other workers were owed about a million dollars for work that Usmanov could not pay for due to sanctions.
Usmanov was staying in one of his villas when he was added to the EU's sanctions list in February, locals told the newspaper. He managed to hop on his private jet from Munich several hours later but did not use his Russian passport, airport officials told the local news media.
Martin Calsow, an author of German crime novels, told the Times: "This valley has been a hideaway not only for the rich, but for the very opaque. It is a long tradition."
Umanov's press team told the Times that the properties in question had been "transferred to a trust years ago in a fully transparent and legal fashion. They added that "Mr. Usmanov had nothing to do with the Ukraine crisis and was not close to Mr. Putin."