Sanctioned billionaire Tinkov slams ‘insane war’ in Ukraine

‘Innocent people and soldiers are dying,’ Tinkov wrote in Russian Tuesday. 
Image: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Russian billionaire Oleg Tinkov, the sanctioned founder of the digital lender TCS Group Holding Plc, slammed the war in Ukraine in a curse-filled rant on Instagram, a rare example of a prominent businessman publicly criticising President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

“I don’t see a single beneficiary from this insane war. Innocent people and soldiers are dying,” Tinkov wrote in Russian Tuesday.

Addressing what he called the “collective West” in English, Tinkov added: “Please give Mr. Putin a clear exit to save his face and stop this massacre.”

The screed was one of a handful anti-war comments by prominent Russian businessmen, many of whom have been targeted by Western sanctions for supporting Putin. Aluminum billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has been sanctioned since 2018, has publicly called for peace.

Tinkoff Bank distanced itself from its founder’s position, saying in a statement on Telegram that he’s just one of 20 million clients and not a decision-maker. Tinkov’s family trust owns 35.1% of the lender’s parent, TCS Group.

Tinkov, worth $3.5 billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was sanctioned by the UK last month for being complicit in the war against Ukraine. After the measures were announced, the co-chief executive officers of his bank quit the board of directors and relocated from Moscow to the United Arab Emirates.

Tinkov claimed in colourful language that Russian generals woke up from their hangovers to realise that the army was awful and, like the rest of Russia, plagued by nepotism, servility and flunkies. He estimated 90% of Russians were against the war.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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