The businessman announced in a post on Instagram on Monday that he had renounced his citizenship, posting a photo of his official renunciation document, which was published on October 26: “I hope that famous Russian businessmen will follow me, so Putin’s regime and “His Economy,” he said, adding: “I hate Putin’s Russia, but I love all Russians who are against this crazy war!”
The post was later deleted, and Tinkov said on Tuesday that it had “mysteriously disappeared” and speculated that it could be the work of “Kremlin trolls”.
Tinkov, who is said to also hold Cypriot citizenship, is one of several prominent Russian businessmen who has publicly criticized the attack. He spoke out against the war in February and later condemned the attack as “crazy”. He claims that he was forced to sell his shares in Tinkoff Bank under pressure from the Kremlin.
Despite his opposition to the war, British authorities imposed sanctions on Tinkov in March, freezing British assets, barring his private boats and planes from British territory, and banning citizens and companies from doing business with him. Foreign Ministry officials have accused the 54-year-old man of benefiting from his involvement in Tinkoff Bank, or supporting the Russian government through it. The Foreign Ministry statement cited reports that his fortune at the time was $3.9 billion.
Last year, Tinkov also pleaded guilty to tax evasion in a criminal case in the US.
Tinkov is the last person among the small number of business leaders of Russian descent to officially cut ties with his homeland.
At the beginning of this week, the newspaper “Telegraf” reported that the famous Russian leader Nikolai Storonsky, who was one of the founders of the bank “Revolut”, renounced his citizenship.
In March, the Russian-Israeli oligarch Leonid Nevzlin announced that he would renounce his citizenship, referring to the Russian attack on Ukraine. “Everything Putin touches dies,” Nevzlin wrote in a Facebook post. “I am against war. I am against the occupation. I am against the genocide of the Ukrainian people.”
Oligarch renounces Russian citizenship, says ‘everything Putin touches dies’
And in October, billionaire Yuri Milner announced on Twitter that his family “completed the process of renouncing our Russian citizenship” and left the country “forever” after the annexation of Crimea from Russia.
Exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was the richest man in Russia until his arrest in 2003, has become one of Putin’s most vocal critics. In an interview with the “Washington Post” newspaper in London this year, he called on other prominent Russians who fled the country to condemn the attack. “If you’re going to leave, then you need to publicly isolate yourself, or we’re going to have to find out you’re doing it. [the Kremlin’s] on behalf of,” he said.