Monday, February 28, 2022

"Prevent unnecessary deaths of young Russian soldiers" - oligarchs put pressure on Putin

WORLD "Prevent unnecessary deaths of young Russian soldiers" - oligarchs put pressure on Putin Yesterday at 22:00 In view of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, several oligarchs have distanced themselves from Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin. In an open letter to Putin published on Monday, media mogul Evgeny Lebedev wrote: "As a citizen of Russia, I ask you to end the state of affairs in which Russians are killing their Ukrainian brothers and sisters." Previously, billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Oleg Tinkov also had clear statements Criticism of the Russian war in Ukraine. Lebedev, who also has British citizenship and is a member of the British House of Lords, published the open letter in the London Evening Standard newspaper, which he owns. Europe is "on the brink of another world war" and the world is facing a "possible nuclear catastrophe," he warned. Putin must use the current negotiations with Kiev officials to "end this terrible war in Ukraine". "As a British citizen, I call on you to protect Europe from this war," Lebedev wrote. "As a Russian patriot, I ask you to prevent the needless deaths of more young Russian soldiers. As a citizen of the world, I call on you to protect the world from annihilation.” Russian billionaire Oleg Tinkov also denounced the death of "innocent people" in Ukraine on Monday as "unthinkable and unacceptable". "States should spend money on treating people and on cancer research, not on wars," he wrote on Instagram. Billionaire Oleg Deripaska has called for an “end to state capitalism” in Russia in the face of economic sanctions imposed on Moscow. "This is a real crisis and we need real crisis managers," the founder of the aluminum group Rusal explained on Telegram. Meanwhile, Putin launched a new rhetorical blow against the West. At a meeting attended by, among others, Russia's central bank head Elvira Nabiullina and Sberbank boss German Gref, Putin described the western countries as an "empire of lies" that wanted to "implement sanctions against our country". "War can never be the answer" In Russia, the business elite rarely criticize the government. However, since the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, several Russian oligarchs have opposed President Putin's actions. Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman also declared on Sunday: "War can never be the answer". In a letter to the employees of his holding company Letterone, the native Ukrainian called for an end to the "bloodshed" according to the company. One of Russia's richest men, oligarch Roman Abramovich, has been asked for help by the Ukrainian side, according to a spokeswoman. He was contacted "to help find a solution and is now trying to help," spokeswoman Rola Brentlin said. The EU countries, the USA, Canada, Japan and other western allies have decided on tough sanctions against Russia because of the attack on Ukraine. These include an exclusion of important Russian banks from the international payment system Swift, the blocking of transactions by the Russian central bank to support the Russian currency and export bans on high-tech goods. The punitive measures are also aimed at oligarchs and their assets. Russia has announced retaliatory measures, but has not yet specified any specific steps. According to the Kremlin, President Putin wanted to discuss the consequences of the sanctions for his country's economy with his ministers on Monday.