INVESTIGATION – Yachts, private jets, astronomical bills… Before the war in Ukraine, Russian customers represented a major market for the tourism and services sector, whether on the Côte d’Azur or in Courchevel.
Russian billionaires in France are making themselves small. With the war in Ukraine, and the sanctions targeting Moscow and the personalities close to the Kremlin who accompany it, this luxury clientele is now trying to be more discreet. No more ostentatious parties and the craziest whims in Courchevel or on the Côte d’Azur, posh destinations hitherto acclaimed by this public. The geopolitical context encourages them to be cautious, when some have already left the country. “From the beginning of the war, at the end of February, many Russian owners of chalets in Courchevel called us to ask us to charter planes to Chambéry, from where they took their private plane to return to Moscow», says Elie Zeschkowski, consultant on the luxury concierge part within the Elyzée Events agency.
But not all of those silver Russians left, far from it. “They remain present, but live a little hidden“says a source, who wishes to remain anonymous. For example…