At the end of December, brothers Nikita and Kirill Mordashov did as their father asked and transferred their shares in a mining company to the Russian oligarch. Alexei Mordashov had given his children stakes in the family business as part of an estate plan, but decided they weren’t quite ready, according to a person close to him.
Two months later, after Russia invaded Ukraine, Mr. Mordashov was rushing to get those shares back again. This time he transferred a stake of about $1 billion to Marina Mordashova, the mother of four of his other children, according to public documents and the person close to the oligarch. Later in the day, the European Union froze its European assets.