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Ukraine war: Russian oligarch who criticised Putin ‘told to fear for his life’

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R

ussian oligarch Oleg Tinkov who broke ranks to criticise Vladimir Putin has been told to fear for his life, the businessman has revealed.

Mr Tinkov, 54, who founded the TInkoff Bank in 2006 said friends with sources in the Russian security service, have told him he should fear for his life and has since hired personal bodyguards.

Speaking to the New York Times, Mr Tinkov said: “They told me: ‘The decision regarding you has been made’.

“Whether that means that on top of everything they’re going to kill me, I don’t know. I don’t rule it out.”

Mr Tinkov said representatives contacted Tinkoff Bank, of which the businessman had a 35 per cent stake of, forcing it to cut ties with its founder after he denounced “Putin’s massacre”.

He said: “I couldn’t discuss the price. It was like a hostage — you take what you are offered. I couldn’t negotiate.

“They made me sell it because of my pronouncements. I sold it for kopecks.”

Now based out of Russia, the businessman said there is no longer a future for Russia following the invasion.

“I’ve realised that Russia, as a country, no longer exists. I believed that the Putin regime was bad. But of course, I had no idea that it would take on such a catastrophic scale,” he added.

“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 neighbours without any reason at all.”

According to the businessman, he sold his stake in Tinkoff Bank for three per cent of what he believed its true value was.

Last month, Mr Tinkov called for an end to the “insane war” and asked western leaders to present a way out of the war to stop the massacre.

He said: “Dear ‘collective west’ please give Mr Putin a clear exit to save his face and stop this massacre.

“Please be more rational and humanitarian.”

The bank later denied its founder’s comments while Mr Tinkov stated he had had no direct contact with anyone in the Russian government.

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