The war in Ukraine. Russian billionaire: I’m not going to live in a shelter like Putin

This war is the result of the madness and hunger for power of one person, Vladimir Putin, supported by his closest circle – said Boris Minc in an interview with the BBC. As the British station notes, he is one of the few Russian billionaires openly criticizing the war in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin. The main reason is the fear of the consequences of such criticism.

In an interview with a British broadcaster published on Thursday, the businessman shared his reflections on Russia’s war in Ukraine. As the BBC notes, “most of the high-ranking people in the country (int Russia – Ed.) remains silent about this war, avoiding criticizing the Kremlin.

“The Result of Madness and Hunger for Power”

According to Boris Minc, there is a simple explanation for this: “Everyone is afraid. Anyone who openly criticizes Putin has reasons to fear for his own safety.” However, the billionaire himself stated: “I do not intend to live in a shelter like Putin.”

According to Minc, in Russia the “usual way” to punish business owners for being hostile to the regime is to “open fabricated criminal cases” that concern not only businessmen, “but also their families and employees.” Any business leader independent of Putin, he says, is seen as a threat “because he may be able to finance opposition or protests – these people are seen as Putin’s enemies and therefore enemies of the state.”

Borys Minc in 2017ID1974 / Shutterstock

Speaking of the war in Ukraine Boris Minc rated the actions Vladimir Putin as “mean”. The very invasion, which he compared to a Nazi attack German to Poland in 1939, he also called “the most tragic event in modern history, not only in Ukraine and Russia, but all over the world.” “This war is the result of the madness and hunger for power of one person, Vladimir Putin, supported by his immediate entourage,” he said.

SEE ALSO: “Clean zone” for millions of rubles. How the Kremlin cares for Putin’s health

Billionaires in Exile

Borys Minc publicly criticized Vladimir Putin’s policy after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 for the first time. A year later, he was to feel that he had to leave Russia when “repressions against the political opposition were mounting”, and the opposition Boris Nemtsov was shot in Moscow.

Two years later, the investment firm O1 Group, thanks to which Minc acquired the fortune, found itself in an “open conflict” with the Russian central bank. Ultimately, the businessman sold the company in 2018 and left for the UK. He now claims that the “boldest step available” for wealthy Russians who do not like Putin is to “quietly go into exile”.

SEE ALSO: Millionaires are leaving Russia. “The exodus of the rich usually precedes any major country collapse in history.”

Russian oligarch

As the BBC notes, Boris Minc was not included in the sanctions list introduced by the British government, which included Russian businessmen linked to the Kremlin. However, his name was on the so-called “Putin’s list” published by the United States in 2018.

Minc on the so-called “Putin’s leaves”Shutterstock

It found a total of 210 names, 114 of which were identified as “in or related to the government”. Minc was not in that group, but he and 96 others were classified as an oligarch, “apparently more because he owned over a billion dollars at the time than he had close ties to the Kremlin,” the BBC estimates. The billionaire himself argues that he is not an oligarch, saying: “Not every Russian entrepreneur is a Putin supporter, just as not every wealthy Russian is an oligarch.”

Forbes magazine placed Boris Minc on the list of global billionaires in 2017, estimating his fortune at $ 1.3 billion. A year later, the Russian businessman no longer appeared in the ranking.

SEE ALSO: The property of Russian oligarchs and Putin’s people. Frozen “only a fraction really”

Main photo source: ID1974 / Shutterstock

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