Ex-Russian Oligarch Condemns Invasion, Renounces Passport: "Everything Putin Touches Dies"
A former Russian oligarch delivered a scathing criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin on his Facebook account on Tuesday, accusing the leader and his country of perpetrating a “genocide” of Ukrainian people.
“I, Leonid Nevzlin, renounce my Russian citizenship,” said the Russian-Israeli oligarch in a translation of his post.
The oil industry oligarch announced that he would renounce his Russian citizenship in protest of the invasion.
“Russian citizenship has already become a stamp of shame on itself, which I no longer want to wear on myself. Enough is enough,” he explained.
“Everything that Putin touches dies.”
“I am against the war. I am against the occupation. I am against the genocide of the Ukrainian people.”
“I can’t afford to be a citizen of a country that kills children of other countries and tortures their children who don’t agree with it,” the post continued, with Nevzlin announcing that he plans on giving up his Russian passport.
Nevzlin fled Russia in 2003 for Israel as the Kremlin initiated a criminal investigation into his Yukos oil company, according to The Washington Post.
Forbes estimated his net worth to be $1.8 billion in 2003, according to Haaretz.
The Kremlin had sought his extradition on charges of murder and financial crimes, with Nevzlin maintaining his innocence and asserting the charges were political in nature.
An Israeli court determined that there was insufficient evidence for extradition in 2008.
“I was one of the first to be hit by Putin. He threw my friends in jails, and killed some of them,” claimed Nevzlin in the post.
“I have spent almost twenty years outside Russia, but that is exactly what has allowed me to see its process of rotting and decomposing.”
The Russian economy is notorious for corruption and the self-serving enrichment of billionaires on the backs of former state-owned Soviet industries.
Less affluent Russian citizens are fleeing the country in the wake of Putin’s Ukraine invasion and the devastation of the country’s economy, according to a report from NBC News.
The loss of educated human capital and restrictions on technology imports could hinder Russian efforts to compete with Western and Asian economies in the future.
Nevzlin stated that he’d consider taking up Russian citizenship once more in the event of the country’s rehabilitation.
“Yes, my cultural roots, Russian language, will remain the most important part of self-identification. Perhaps the time will come when I want to become a citizen of Russia again,” his post concluded.
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