Oleg Tinkov, a Russian billionaire, has slammed President Vladimir Putin’s “insane” invasion of Ukraine, alleging that only a small number of “morons” accept it.
On Instagram, Oleg Tinkov, the founder of Tinkoff Bank, Russia’s second-largest credit card provider, wrote:
“I don’t see ANY beneficiary of this crazy war! Innocent people and soldiers are dying.”
He also added that Russia’s generals had “woken up with a hangover” and realized their army was “s*” following a series of failures and catastrophic military losses.
He added: “But how can the army be good, if everything else in the country is s*** and mired in nepotism, servility and grovelling?”
While a few other affluent Russians have spoken out against the Kremlin’s invasion, Tinkov’s remarks, made in February, are the most forceful by any significant business person since Putin ordered soldiers into Ukraine.
“Of course there are morons who draw Zs,” he wrote, referring to the Kremlin’s pro-war symbol. “[But] 90% of Russians are AGAINST this war.”
Although politicians and state-owned businesses regularly use the “Z” symbol, it is not widely used by the general population in Moscow.
According to Forbes, Tinkov lost $4.94 billion in less than a month when Russian company share values plunged following Russia’s invasion. His net worth is now believed to be around $4.42 billion. He was sanctioned by the United Kingdom last month, but neither the United States nor the European Union have targeted him. He denies knowing Putin or anyone in his inner circle.
“Kremlin officials are shocked that neither they or their children will be off to the Mediterranean in the summer. Businessmen are trying to save the rest of their property,” he said.
Tinkov ended his social media post by pleading with western countries to “Please give Mr. Putin a clear exit to save his face and stop this massacre. Please be more rational and humanitarian.”
According to independent and government pollsters, over 70% of Russians favor what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
However, critics claim that many people are hesitant to publicly oppose the war because of the government’s intensifying crackdown on dissent. Discrediting the Russian army or spreading “fake” news about the conflict is now a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to the Kremlin.
Tinkov’s whereabouts at the time of his remarks are unknown. Putin made his remarks as Bloomberg reported that he has summoned business executives to a meeting at the Kremlin tomorrow. The guest list hasn’t been made public yet.
Image Credit: Getty
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