Alexandra Tolstoy and Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachev
Alexandra Tolstoy and Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachev reportedly struggle to live on £10,000 a week Getty

A London-based oligarch who was the banker to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his former BBC presenter lover are now struggling to live on 'just' £10,000 a week, it has been claimed.

Sergei Pugachev told the High Court last week he was worth about £45m after he had assets worth up to £1.3bn frozen following the collapse of Mezhprombank, the bank he co-founded.

After the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, the bank was plunged into difficulty and in 2010 collapsed with a deficit of more than £1.1bn.

Now, Pugachev, once one of Moscow's richest men and a former senator in his native country, is fighting the Russian state, which claims he plundered emergency loans to Mezhprombank paid by the Central Bank of Russia in December 2008.

The High Court case has apparently curbed the luxurious lives led by Pugachev and partner Alexandra Tolstoy, a former BBC presenter and distant relative of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, after an order made in the summer insisted they and their three children survive on 'just' £10,000 a week.

Despite what seems to be a sizeable wedge, the sum could be seen as slim pickings to a man who sits on some of London's prime real estate, including a £12m house in Battersea as well as a château in Nice.

Pugachev's appeal against the asset freeze ended in the High Court yesterday (18 November). A decision is not expected until next year.