On the morning of February 24, Russia launched a war in Ukraine. It was followed by an unprecedented collapse of the Russian stock market and unprecedented sanctions in the history of Russia.
The new restrictive measures introduced by the United States, the European Union and Britain and supported by Canada, Japan and other countries have affected personally Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, all members of the State Duma, the largest Russian banks and companies. On the evening of February 27, the European Commission announced the closure of EU airspace for Russian airlines and a ban on all transactions with the Russian Central Bank.
The special operation caused a stormy response in Russian society. Calls to stop it are made by scientists and artists, leaders of foreign states and representatives of professional communities. Among the latter, there is no RSPP - a large business association prefers to remain silent. Nevertheless, there were those on the Forbes list who reacted to the events with words and actions. About them - in our material.
The largest shareholder of LetterOne, Mikhail Fridman, addressed the employees of his company with a letter in which he said that he was born and lived until the age of 17 in Ukraine and perceives what is happening "as a tragedy." “I am a businessman responsible to thousands of employees in Russia and Ukraine. But I am convinced that war can never be the solution. The price of this crisis will be lives and damage to two nations that have been brotherly for hundreds of years,” reads a letter published by the Financial Times. In an interview with Forbes, the businessman confirmed its authenticity.
Another co-owner of LetterOne, Alexei Kuzmichev, told Forbes that he fully agrees with Fridman's position, shares it and supports it. “My position is even tougher. My mother was Ukrainian, I have a huge number of relatives and friends there. But I am not going to make any political statements,” he said.
Telegram founder Pavel Durov said that the messenger could limit the work of Telegram channels during conflicts in the countries involved. “I urge users from Russia and Ukraine to be suspicious of any data that is distributed in Telegram at this time,” the businessman wrote, emphasizing that Telegram “does not have the physical ability” to check all publications for accuracy. After 40 minutes, he said that he had received many requests not to turn off the channels, since for many Telegram is “the only source of information.”
Co-owner of the network selling electronics DNS Dmitry Alekseev said that on February 24, the increase in prices for goods in the network amounted to 30%. “Yesterday we suddenly faced the problem that all our activities have turned into the distribution of the deficit. There was a rush demand, there were failures in the operation of the site, ”the businessman explained what was happening. The Federal Antimonopoly Service did not evaluate the efficiency of the DNS and said that it would check the validity of the price increase. At the same time, Alekseev did not comment on what was happening in Ukraine. “A black page in history. Until recently, I did not believe that this would happen. Madness. This is a criminal determination to destroy the entire World. How did this become possible? - wrote another co-owner of the DNS, Sergey Meshchanyuk, on his Facebook page.
“Just yesterday it seemed to me that it would be tough political fuss, pressure, etc., but today I understand that the point of no return has been passed and this will be a big story that will touch the lives of millions of people. It’s sad,” billionaire Igor Rybakov commented on the current situation on his YouTube channel. He also advised subscribers not to panic and to buy depreciated securities of Russian companies. “All this pisses me off. I want all this uncertainty to end, ”summed up the co-owner of TechnoNIKOL.
Billionaire Roman Abramovich handed over management of Chelsea to the trustees of the club's charitable foundation. According to the businessman, he always made decisions based on the interests of the club. This decision was preceded by calls from British parliamentarians to include Abramovich on the sanctions list. Bloomberg reported on February 25 that a group of US investors plans to buy a controlling stake in Chelsea from Abramovich in the near future.
The former co-owner of Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who regularly comments on the political situation in Russia, has repeatedly spoken out on his Instagram about what is happening in Ukraine. In particular, he urged the Russians to take to the streets, and appealed to German Gref, Alexei Kudrin and Anatoly Chubais to speak clearly on the situation. “The war against Ukraine must be stopped at any cost,” Khodorkovsky wrote.
Oleg Deripaska, co-owner of UC Rusal, who traditionally uses his Telegram to criticize the actions of the Central Bank, called on the parties to the conflict to negotiate. “Peace is very important! Negotiations need to start as soon as possible!” he wrote.
On February 28, he made another statement: “Since this is a real crisis, then real crisis managers are needed, and not science fiction writers with a pack of presentations. Now, as in 2014, it will not be possible to sit out. It is necessary to change the economic policy, it is necessary to end all this state capitalism.”
TCS Group founder Oleg Tinkov, who is undergoing cancer treatment, also spoke about the situation in Ukraine. He said that during his illness he had the opportunity to see how fragile human life is, and called for stopping the special operation in Ukraine. “Innocent people are dying in Ukraine now, every day, this is unthinkable and unacceptable! States should spend money on treating people, on research to defeat cancer, and not on war, ”he wrote.