Oligarch who blasted Putin’s ‘crazy war’ war told he should ‘fear for his life’

A Russian oligarch has been told he should fear for his life after he broke ranks to condemn Putin's "crazy war" war in Ukraine.

Oleg Tinkov says he had to sell his assets and is now in hiding outside Russia after calling Putin's army "sh***y" in an Instagram post last month.

The 54-year-old, formerly one of Russia's richest men, has hired bodyguards after friends with connections in security warned him: "A decision regarding you has been made."

Tinkov has stood by his decision to speak out about the war, claiming others among the Russian elite feel the same but are too "afraid" of criticising Putin over concerns for their safety.

Writing on Instagram, he said: "I don't believe in Russia's future. Most importantly, I am not prepared to associate my brand and my name with a country that attacks its neighbors without any reason at all."

Tinkov, who owns a 35% stake in his own bank, Tinkoff, was said to be worth £7.2million, however his fortunes quickly plummeted as Western countries imposed sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

From an undisclosed location, Tinkov told the New York Times retaliation was swift following his post.

He claimed the Kremlin and contacted him and said: "We will nationalise your bank if he doesn't sell it and the owner doesn't change, and if you don't change the name."

Days later, Tinkov's bank changed its name and the oligarch was for4ced to flog his shares to an associate of Putin, Vladimir Potantin.

Now that he is out of his home country, Tinkov says "Russia, as a country, no longer exists".

Tinkov appears on the UK's list of sanctioned oligarchs, but maintains he never supported Putin's regime and made his money as an entrepreneur.

"I believed that the Putin regime was bad," he said. "But of course, I had no idea that it would take on such catastrophic scale."

Writing on Instagram on today (Tuesday, May 3), he said: "It is a pity that my country has finally slipped into archaism, paternalism and servility. There is no Russia, it has all gone.

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"The threats to me personally, a person who is struggling with the most severe blood cancer-leukemia, the desire to punish me just for opinion, my honest opinion, speaks of the final dehumanisation of the regime."

A spokesperson for Tinkoff said there had been "no threats of any kind against the bank's leadership".

"Oleg has not been in Moscow for many years, did not participate in the life of the company and was not involved in any matters," they added.

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