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Whether they earned their millions or inherited them, there are lots of rich Russians going aroundŚ119,000 millionaires and 53 billionaires. And that means Moscow's A-list clubs, cafés and bars places like Diaghilev, Roof, First and GQ Bar are no longer the preserve of well-heeled expats. Don't think Pasha will let you in just because you speak English. Another telling sign of the times: those beautiful women massing in Diaghilev are no longer so keen on American hedge-fund managers. Their No. 1 target these days is a Russian oligarch like Roman Abramovich, the recently divorced owner of the Chelsea soccer club in London and the governor of Chukotka, in the far east, or Mikhail Prokhorov, a metals magnate who happens to be a bachelor.
If the lifestyles of the Russian rich have changed dramatically in the past decade, there remains the possibility that even more change is to come. The club scene is a constant work in progress. Few clubs last longer than six months; Diaghilev, at almost two years old, is a senior citizen. Even the all powerful Pasha is on his way out. After seven years as Pasha Face Control, he's ready to become Pavel Pichugin. Actually, make that Dr. Pavel Pichugin. "I'll do this for another year," he tells me. "Then I'll be a dentist; that's what I studied to be." That could be a brilliant career move: in a country determined to drill, fill, stain and otherwise whitewash into nonexistence its Soviet past, celebrity dentists are in huge demand. But great teeth alone won't get you into Diaghilev.