Sanctioned Russian bank founder Tinkov condemns ‘insane’ Ukraine war

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Russian business tycoon Oleg Tinkov attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 7, 2019.
Maxim Shemetov | Reuters

Sanctioned Russian digital bank founder Oleg Tinkov on Tuesday blasted his nation’s “insane” war against Ukraine and called on Western nations to give Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin “a clear exit to save his face and stop this massacre.”

Tinkov, in an impassioned Instagram post, also claimed that “90% of Russians are AGAINST this war!” He also argued that the remaining 10% are “morons,” and that the Russian army has been exposed as ‘sh—y.”

The screed by the founder of TCS Group Holding and the digital Tinkoff Bank came weeks after the United Kingdom sanctioned Tinkov, freezing his personal assets in the U.K. The U.K. also sanctioned a number of other Russian individuals and entities.

Before Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the 54-year-old Tinkov’s wealth had been estimated at more than $4.42 billion.

But Forbes reported last month that he had lost his status as a billionaire, as his shares in Tinkoff Bank tanked in value since November.

“I do not see ONE beneficiary of this insane war!” Tinkov wrote in Russian in his Instagram post. “Innocent people and soldiers are dying. The generals woke up from a hangover, realized they had a sh—y army.”

“And how will the army be good if everything else in the country is s–t and dirty in nepotism.”

“Kremlin officials are shocked that not only they, but also their children will not go to the Mediterranean in the summer,” Tinkov wrote. “Businessmen are trying to salvage what remains of property.”

“Of course there are morons drawing Z” — the symbol in Russia for support of the invasion of Ukraine — “but morons in any country [are] 10%.”

“Dear ‘collective West’ please give Mr. Putin a clear exit to save his face and stop this massacre,” Tinkov wrote in closing. “Please be more rational and humanitarian.”

Tinkov on Oct. 1 pleaded guilty to tax fraud in a United States criminal case, where federal prosecutors said he had filed a false tax return when he renounced his American citizenship in 2013.

He agreed as part of his sentence to pay more than $500 million in penalties to settle that case, which was more than double the amount he had sought to avoid paying the U.S. Treasury in taxes when he renounced his citizenship and tried to conceal large stock gains from the sale of shares in TCS.

Tinkov had fought extradition from the U.K. to the U.S. successfully after being indicted in 2019.

“In public records, Tinkov has disclosed that he is undergoing a UK-based intensive treatment plan for acute myeloid leukemia and graft versus host disease, which has rendered him immunocompromised and unable to safely travel in the foreseeable future,” the U.S. Justice Department said in October.

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