Oleg Tinkov, the billionaire founder of a major Russian digital bank, blasted Russia’s ‘senseless war’ in Ukraine and urged the West to help President Vladimir Putin find an exit ramp to ‘stop this slaughter’ .
Russia’s brutal assault on its neighbor began almost two months ago. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed and injured, and millions have fled the country, according to UN agencies.
The Russian entrepreneur, who founded Tinkoff Bank in 2006, claimed in an Instagram post on Tuesday that 90% of Russians were against the war and that Kremlin officials were in shock that they could no longer spend their summers in the Mediterranean. .
“I do not see a single beneficiary of this senseless war,” he wrote.
Tinkov was among 65 people and entities sanctioned by the UK on March 24 for “supporting the unlawful invasion of Russia”. He owns 35% of Tinkoff Bank’s parent company, TCS Group, and is worth around $3.5 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Western sanctions froze about $300 billion in Russian reserves and plunged the economy into a deep recession. Dozens of global companies have left the country and the European Union has closed its airspace to Russian airlines and planes.
“Kremlin officials are in shock that not only they but also their children will not be going to the Mediterranean this summer. Businessmen are trying to salvage what is left of their possessions,” he wrote.
Referring to the mysterious symbol daubed on Russian tanks which has become a popular sign of support for the war in Russia, Tinkov said there are “idiots who write the letter Z but there are about 10% idiots in all countries. 90% of Russians are AGAINST this war.”
Switching to English at the end of his message, he called on the West to “give Mr. Putin a clear way out to save face and stop this slaughter”.
“Please be more rational and humanitarian,” he added.
Tinkov’s call for peace follows similar calls by other Russian business leaders.
The Russian oil company Lukoil has called for an end to the conflict in Ukraine. Oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Oleg Deripaska spoke out against the conflict in late February after the Russian invasion.
Fridman, who was born in western Ukraine, wrote in a letter to staff that he wanted “the bloodshed to stop”. Deripaska said in a message on Telegram: “Peace is very important! Negotiations must start as soon as possible!”
And two weeks ago, the chairman of the Russian metallurgical company Rusal called for an impartial investigation into the killing of civilians in Bucha during the occupation of the city by Russian forces.