Abramovich Pledged $3 Billion for Ukraine War Victims. The Money Is Frozen in the U.K.

Funds from the sale of Chelsea FC are sitting in a U.K. bank account amid a dispute between the oligarch and Britain

Updated Dec. 16, 2023 12:04 am ET

LONDON—Two weeks after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich said he would sell his soccer club Chelsea FC and donate the billions of dollars in proceeds to the victims of the war in Ukraine. At the time, it seemed an elegant solution for a billionaire under growing scrutiny in the West for his ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. 

Yet more than a year and a half later, the $3 billion donation is sitting frozen in a U.K. bank account amid a long-running dispute with the British government over how the vast sum should be spent. 

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