Russian oligarchs urge Moscow to abandon Ukraine incursion

Russian oligarchs urge Moscow to abandon Ukraine incursion
World Economic Forum - Michael Wuertenberg

Two Russian billionaires called upon President Vladimir Putin to end his military campaign in Ukraine over the weekend.

"I was born in Western Ukraine and lived there until I was 17. My parents are Ukrainian citizens and live in Lviv, my favorite city. But I have also spent much of my life as a citizen of Russia, building and growing businesses. I am deeply attached to Ukrainian and Russian peoples and see the current conflict as a tragedy for them both," Mikhail Fridman, the chairman of Alfa Group and the now-sanctioned Alfa Bank, wrote in an email on Saturday.

"I do not make political statements, I am a businessman with responsibilities to my many thousands of employees in Russia and Ukraine. I am convinced however that war can never be the answer. This crisis will cost lives and damage two nations who have been brothers for hundreds of years," Fridman, whose net worth is estimated at $15.5 billion, continued. "While a solution seems frighteningly far off, I can only join those whose fervent desire is for the bloodshed to end. I’m sure my partners share my view.”

Fridman's correspondence was first reported by The Financial Times.

Aluminum mogul Oleg Deripaska also communicated his desire for peace in a letter to his followers on Telegram.

"Peace is very important! Negotiations need to start as soon as possible!" wrote Deripaska, who has a net worth of $28 billion and has lived under personal sanctions since 2018.

CNN noted on Monday that "Russia's oligarchs face economic chaos and punishment by the West after Putin ordered his troops into Ukraine last week. The United States and allies including the United Kingdom have responded by targeting wealthy individuals who are close to the Kremlin with sanctions. The United States is even targeting the families of oligarchs — a new step aimed at eroding support for Putin among Russia's elite."

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