Businessman Oleg Tinkov announced on Monday that he was renouncing his Russian citizenship, criticizing President Vladimir Putin and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“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 innnocent [sic] people daily,” Tinkov, a Russian billionaire and founder of the Tinkoff Bank, said in an Instagram post, sharing a photo of the documents he filed on his citizenship.
“It is a shame for me to continue to hold this passport. I hope more prominent Russian businessmen will follow me, so it weakens Putin’s regime and his economy, and put him eventually to defeat. I hate Putin’s Russia, but love all Russians who are clearly against this crazy war!” the post added.
The announcement by Tinkov comes amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, after Putin announced the “special military operation” and invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Since the start of the war, Tinkov has been vocal in his criticism of Putin. In April, Tinkov, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, posted an Instagram photo discussing the war and Putin.
“I don’t see a SINGLE beneficiary of this crazy war! Innocent people and soldiers are dying,” he wrote in the caption. “90% of Russians are AGAINST this war! Dear “collective West” please give Mr. Putin a clear exit to save his face and stop this massacre. Please be more rational and humanitarian.”
Shortly after his post, Tinkov spoke with the New York Times and said that amid his criticism of the war, he was threatened by the Kremlin and was forced to sell stakes in his bank. “It was like a hostage—you take what you are offered. I couldn’t negotiate,” he said.