Oleg Tinkov, a multibillionaire banker and businessman, announced on Monday that he had given up his Russian citizenship due to the violence in Ukraine, which he had previously criticized.
“I have taken the decision to exit my Russian citizenship. I can’t and won’t be associated with a fascist country that started a war with their peaceful neighbour and killing innocent people daily,” Tinkov said.
He wrote on Instagram, “I hope more prominent Russian businessmen will follow me, so it weakens (President Vladimir) Putin’s regime and his economy, and put him eventually to defeat.”
He uploaded a photo of a certificate attesting to his Russian citizenship’s “ending.”
“I hate Putin’s Russia, but love all Russians who are clearly against this crazy war!” Tinkov said.
The self-made billionaire who launched the online Tinkoff Bank is one of Russia’s most well-known businessmen.
Behind the two state goliaths, Sberbank and VTB, the bank is one of Russia’s biggest lenders. Currently, Tinkoff has over 20 million customers.
Tinkov had criticized Russia’s offensive in Ukraine harshly, calling it a “insane war” and urging the West to put an end to the “massacre.”
British sanctions that were put in place not long after the war started in late February also target him.
He was previously detained in London in 2020 on suspicion of evading taxes in the US. Later, after posting bond, he received leukemia treatment in London.
In 2020, he resigned as CEO of Tinkoff, and the bank has since distanced itself from his anti-offensive remarks.