Developer Vlad Doronin distances himself from Russia’s war on Ukraine

Russian-born Doronin began real estate career building office, retail properties in Moscow

Vlad Doronin (Getty / Photo illustration by Priyanka Modi)
Vlad Doronin (Getty / Photo illustration by Priyanka Modi)

Russian-born developer Vladislav Doronin denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, distancing himself from Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

Doronin, owner of OKO Group and the high-end hotel group Aman Resorts, was born in St. Petersburg when it was part of the former U.S.S.R. and started his real estate career developing properties in Moscow. Doronin has repeatedly rejected descriptions of himself as being Russian or an oligarch.

Over the weekend, protestors of the Russian invasion of Ukraine gathered outside of the Aman New York resort in Manhattan. In response to demands for Doronin’s stance on Russia’s attacks — and as he faced similar planned protests in Miami, where Doronin has projects — the developer issued a statement calling for peace. His attorney also told The Real Deal that neither Doronin nor his company in any way support Putin’s regime or the invasion of Ukraine.

Doronin said in his statement that he left the U.S.S.R. in 1986 before its dissolution “and [has] therefore never been a Russian national.” He added that he has “not conducted business in Russia for many years.”

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Still, Doronin has ties to Russia. He owns a massive estate outside of Moscow that the late Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid designed for him. The property, called Capital Hill Residence, is the only private home Hadid designed.

Doronin developed projects in Russia via Capital Group, the company he founded after he left the U.S.S.R., and worked under the late commodities trader Marc Rich. (Rich, who was pardoned by former President Bill Clinton, was charged with dozens of crimes, including racketeering, tax evasion and trading with Iran.)

Doronin currently has luxury residential, office and hotel developments in Miami and Miami Beach. They include Una Residences, a condo project in Brickell, and the WeWork-anchored 830 Brickell office tower, both of which are under construction. He also plans an Aman-branded and OKO-developed luxury condo and hotel project in Miami Beach. The latter development is backed by Ukrainian-born American billionaire Len Blavatnik.

In his statement, which he posted on Twitter, Doronin said he has “always embraced a culture of inclusion and peace.”

“I denounce the aggression of Russia on Ukraine and fervently wish for peace.”