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Pitkin County commissioner asks officials to investigate Russian oligarch's holdings in Snowmass Village

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Halle Zander
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Aspen Public Radio
One of Roman Abramovich's two homes in Pitkin County sits on Divide Road in Snowmass Village.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Wednesday released a list of 28 of the 50 Russian oligarchs that it is monitoring, but Snowmass Village homeowner Roman Abramovich was not on it.

After learning about the list, Pitkin County Commissioner Greg Poschman sent an email to Colorado Deputy Attorney General Kurtis Morrison. In the email, Poschman said Abramovich "is widely understood to be a longtime (Russian President Vladimir) Putin insider and a de facto supporter of Russian aggression in Ukraine."

Poschman said it would be a missed opportunity if Abramovich’s multimillion dollar properties in Pitkin County were liquidated and the money transferred overseas.

In 2008, Abramovich paid $36 million for a house on Ridge of Wildcat Drive and $12 million for a house on Divide Road.

Poschman, who consulted the Pitkin County attorney, said the county currently doesn’t have any authority in this matter unless there are any building-code violations at the properties.

Poschman also said several constituents in Pitkin County asked him to shine a light on Abramovich.

"The thing that made me the most concerned was wondering if there was illegal activity and the feds overlooked it for some reason," Poschman said. "I’d feel pretty bad about that. I think on behalf of the community, I’m trying to shine a light on what’s happening here." 

Morrison forwarded Poschman’s email to the Justice Department, which is working with the Treasury Department on a task force targeting Russian assets.

The BBC this week reported that the U.S. Commerce Department has banned anyone from providing service to nearly 100 airplanes that have ties to Russia. One of these planes is owned by Abramovich.

Halle is an award-winning journalist and the All Things Considered anchor for Aspen Public Radio. She has been recognized for her work by the Public Media Journalists Association and the Colorado Broadcasters Association. Before she began working full-time with Aspen Public Radio in September 2021, Halle was a freelance broadcast journalist for both Aspen Public Radio and KDNK. Halle studied environmental analysis at Pitzer College. She was an educator at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and at the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment program, where she taught youth radio and managed a weekly public affairs show.