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Oleg Tinkov, the former billionaire who is one of the few prominent Russian business figures to speak out against his country’s war on Ukraine, made his sharpest attack on the Kremlin yet in an Instagram post Tuesday, writing he hopes Ukraine will emerge victorious.
Tinkov, who lives outside Russia, called the war “evil” twice on his Instagram account Tuesday and said he hopes Ukraine will win the war because it is the “good” side and good prevails over evil, according to a translation.
The post quickly went viral, receiving more than 300,000 likes.
Tinkov has attracted international attention for prior condemnations of the war, including an April 19 Instagram post in which he called the war “crazy” and pleaded for the violence to stop.
Earlier this week, Tinkov told Forbes and the New York Times he was forced to sell his 35% stake in Tinkoff Bank, one of Russia’s largest financial institutions that he founded in 2006, to a company controlled by Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Potanin, at a steep discount because he spoke out against the war and said to the Times he fears the Kremlin will assassinate him.
Tinkov was one of the first Russian billionaires to speak out against the war, joining Alexei Mordashov, Oleg Deripaska and Mikhail Fridman in publicly denouncing the violence. Worth an estimated $7.7 billion before the war, Tinkov’s fortune cratered to about $800 million, by Forbes’ estimates, due to the steep slide in Tinkoff Bank’s share price. Tinkov resigned as Tinkoff Bank’s chairman in 2020 after being diagnosed with acute leukemia and is battling graft-versus-host disease following a bone marrow transplant. Tinkov agreed to pay $506 million to the U.S. government in October to settle tax fraud charges. U.S. authorities arrested Tinkov in 2020 after he allegedly hid more than $1 billion in assets and income related to his renunciation of American citizenship in 2013.
“I just wanted to give something to my family so they will have something when I pass away, but this is just nothing,” Tinkov told Forbes, saying he sold his stake in Tinkoff Bank for less than 3% what it was worth at the end of 2021.
Russian Tycoon Criticized Putin’s War. Retribution Was Swift. (New York Times)