Russian tycoon Oleg Tinkov said he was forced by the Kremlin to sell his stake in Russia’s second-largest bank without any opportunity to negotiate, the New York Times reported on Sunday, after Tinkov criticized the invasion of Ukraine in a post on Instagram.
Tinkov told the New York Times that just a day after his comment on the war, executives of Tinkov Bank were contacted by the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration and were ordered to sever ties under the threat of nationalization of the bank.
Last week, the Russian magnate agreed to sell his 35% stake in TCS Group Holdings—which owns Tinkoff Bank—close Putin ally Vladimir Potanin.
Comparing his state to that of a hostage situation, Tinkov told the Times that he was allowed to negotiate the price and had to take what was being offered.
On April 19, Tinkov posted on Instagram that he did not see anyone benefiting from the “crazy war” and lamented that innocent people and soldiers were dying.
While Tinkov is the only major Russian business leader to speak up against Putin and his war he claimed that many of Russia’s business and government elite have privately said they agree with him but are “all afraid.”
The Russian tycoon now resides in an undisclosed location under the protection of bodyguards.
$7.7 Billion. That is what Tinkov’s net worth was at his peak according to a Forbes estimate. Since the start of the war share’s in Tinkoff’s former holding company TCS Group Holdings plunged more than 90%.