Last year, Moscow’s most powerful woman was Elena Baturina, wife of then-mayor Yuri Luzhkov and the third-richest woman in the world—two facts not exactly unrelated (her development company magically got the most plum city contracts). But with his exit went her clout. Candidates for the vacancy include:
The First Lady keeps a low profile, but she made a massive star of her favorite cheesy crooner, Stas Mikhailov, and her preferred designer, Valentin Yudashkin, got to help redo the military uniform.
The older sister of Mikhail Prokhorov, of Nets and Snob magazine fame (see here), is said to influence all of her brother’s major decisions (until recently, they even lived together).
She’s now, courtesy of partner Vladislav Doronin, Moscow’s most famous hausfrau—a second act that still feels a bit surreal.
Daughter of one oligarch (Alexander Zhukov), partner of another (Roman Abramovich), Zhukova is herself a major player in the art world, thanks to her Garage Center.
A Russian Paris Hilton—if Paris dreamed of being Nora Ephron and not Marilyn Monroe. The political heiress alternates partying with punditry.
This truck driver’s daughter from Ufa is Russia’s minister of economic development and trade—and the only woman on this list whose career owes nothing to genes or marriage.