Russian tycoon Oleg Tinkov renounces citizenship because of the Ukraine war



Russian banking tycoon Oleg Tinkov has renounced his Russian citizenship in a public rebuke over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, saying he cannot and will not be associated with a fascist country.

He added on Tuesday that he plans to revoke his name from Tinkoff Bank, the Russian commercial bank he founded in 2006, writing: “I hate having my brand/name associated with the bank will collaborate with killers and blood.”

The businessman announced in an Instagram post on Monday that he had ended his citizenship and shared a picture of the official document certifying his renunciation, dated October 26, on his economy,” he said, adding: “I hate Putin’s Russia but love all Russians who are clearly against this crazy war!”

That post was later deleted, with Tinkov saying Tuesday it “mysteriously disappeared” and speculating it could have been the work of “Kremlin trolls.”

Tinkov, who also reportedly has Cypriot citizenship, is one of the few prominent Russian businessmen who has publicly criticized the invasion. He spoke out against the war in February and later called the invasion “crazy”. He claims he was forced to sell his stake in Tinkoff Bank under pressure from Kremlin officials.

Despite his opposition to the war, British authorities announced sanctions against Tinkov in March, freezing his British assets, banning his private boats and planes from British territory, and preventing citizens and companies from doing business with him. Officials at the Foreign Office accused the 54-year-old of profiting from his involvement with Tinkoff Bank or of supporting the Russian government with it. A Foreign Office statement cited reports that put his net worth at the time at $3.9 billion.

Last year, Tinkov also pleaded guilty to tax fraud in a criminal case in the United States.

Tinkov is the latest in a small group of Russian-born businessmen who have officially severed ties with their homeland.

Earlier this week, the Telegraph newspaper reported that prominent Russian executive Nikolay Storonsky, co-founder of Revolut Bank, had renounced his citizenship.

In March, Russian-Israeli oligarch Leonid Nevzlin announced that he was renouncing his citizenship, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Everything Putin touches dies,” Nevzlin wrote in a Facebook post. “I am against the war. I am against the occupation. I am against the genocide of the Ukrainian people.”

Oligarch renounces Russian citizenship and says: “Everything Putin touches dies”

And in October billionaire Yuri Milner announced on Twitter that his family “completed the process of renouncing our Russian citizenship” after leaving the country “for good” following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was Russia’s richest man before his arrest in 2003, has become one of Putin’s most high-profile critics. In an interview with the Washington Post in London earlier this year, he called on other prominent Russians who have fled the country to denounce the invasion. “If you’ve left you should publicly distance yourself or we should be forced to suspect you’re moving on [the Kremlin’s] names,” he said.


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