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Oleg Tinkov renounces Russian citizenship in protest against war in Ukraine

The billionaire plans to sue his former bank to prevent it from using the Tinkoff brand after he says he was pushed out.

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Former WorldTour team boss Oleg Tinkov has renounced his Russian citizenship due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tinkov, the former boss of the Tinkoff squad and billionaire banker, has regularly criticized the Russian invasion. In April, he described it as a “crazy war” and said that those who supported the war were “morons.”

The 54-year-old was among those sanctioned by the UK at the beginning of the war. He is no longer the CEO of the Tinkoff Bank after stepping down in 2020 and the bank, which has not been sanctioned, has distanced itself from his comments.

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“I have taken the decision to exit my Russian citizenship. I can’t and won’t be associated with a fascist country that started a war with their peaceful neighbour and killing innocent people daily,” Tinkov wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of a certificate showing the ending of his citizenship.

“I hope more prominent Russian businessmen will follow me, so it weakens Putin’s regime and his economy, and put him eventually to defeat. I hate Putin’s Russia, but love all Russians, who are clearly against this crazy war!”

A screen grab of Oleg Tinkov's Instagram post before it disappeared
A screen grab of Oleg Tinkov’s Instagram post before it disappeared

Tinkov’s post disappeared overnight, though a second post was made Tuesday morning, this time featuring a picture of his dog. The caption reiterated his stance on the war in Ukraine and added that he planned to obtain an injunction to prevent his former bank from using the Tinkoff name.

“I have decided to throw out Russian citizenship after Russia invades Ukraine, and start killing innocents there. I can’t be associated with Putin’s fascism [sic] regime. Moreover, I am engaging lawyers to start revoking Tinkoff brand from the bank,” he wrote in the updated post.

“I hate when my brand/name is associated with the bank that collaborates with killers and blood. Tinkoff Bank must change the name, as Oliver Hughes and Stanislav Bliznuyk were telling me and the public, after they “agreed this with Kremlin government” and kick me out of the bank in March. What changed?”