Oleg Y. Tinkov, the former banking tycoon who broke with the Kremlin over the war in Ukraine, said on Monday that he had renounced his Russian citizenship.
“I can’t and won’t be associated with a fascist country, that started a war with their peaceful neighbour,” Mr. Tinkov, who is also a citizen of Cyprus, wrote on Instagram. “It is a shame for me to continue to hold this passport.”
Mr. Tinkov became the latest Russian-born mogul to renounce his citizenship, a move that critics say may not only be a statement of principle but also an effort to avoid sanctions or soothe potential business partners who are wary of dealing with Russians.
Nikolay Storonsky, the co-founder of the London-based financial start-up Revolut, renounced his Russian citizenship and finds the war in Ukraine “totally abhorrent,” the company said recently. Yuri Milner, the billionaire tech investor, posted on Twitter on Oct. 10 that he and his family had “completed the process of renouncing our Russian citizenship” after leaving Russia “for good” in 2014.
Mr. Tinkov’s move is significant because of his prominence within Russia, where he built an image as a maverick capitalist akin to Richard Branson and where the online bank he founded, Tinkoff, is one of the country’s best-known brands. He publicly denounced President Vladimir V. Putin this past spring and declared in an interview with The New York Times that in the wake of the invasion, “Russia, as a country, no longer exists.”
Mr. Tinkov said at the time that after he spoke out against the war, the Kremlin forced him to sell what had been a multibillion-dollar stake in his bank for 3 percent of what he believed was its true value. Despite his antiwar position, the British government included him on a sanctions list in March.
“I hope more prominent Russian businessmen will follow me, so it weakens Putin’s regime and his economy,” Mr. Tinkov wrote in Monday’s Instagram post, adding a photo of a document certifying his renunciation.
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