"I’m never going back": The high-profile Russian defectors rejecting war

Oleg Tinkov, a self-made billionaire who set up one of Russia’s leading banks, has so far been the most outspoken public opponent of the war among the business elite. In one of a series of critical Instagram posts, Tinkov wrote: “I don’t see ANY beneficiary of this crazy war! Innocent people and soldiers are dying.”

After his statements, Tinkov said he was forced to sell his assets at a knockdown price to an oligarch loyal to the Kremlin. In an interview with the Russian journalist Yury Dud, he said he was sure that the entire business elite backed his statements but were too scared to say the same publicly.

“I have spoken to 12 of the top 20 on the Forbes list personally, and they all support me, there is a full consensus,” he said.

He said half of those he had spoken to justified their silence by claiming to fear for their tens of thousands of employees, who could be affected if they fell out of favour with the Kremlin.

“The other half say, ‘We’ll make a statement and then lose our business, like you, and then what, what have you achieved?’”