April 16, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Two wealthy Russians renounce their Russian citizenship, but most oligarchs do not reject Putin

Two wealthy Russians renounce their Russian citizenship, but most oligarchs do not reject Putin

The business magazine reported the move by the couple, who sold their software company for $5 billion in 2020. Forbes. The businessmen were on Forbes' list of the 200 richest Russians for five years until 2021. Since the war in Ukraine, this group has been the target of Western sanctions, including the confiscation of its yachts.

Baranov, whose fortune is estimated by Forbes magazine at about $770 million, announced last year that he would renounce his citizenship. This has now been completed.

The businessman was critical of the war on LinkedIn. He said the invasion caused him “deep suffering.” “I am a private person and never make public comments, especially regarding politics,” Baranov wrote. “I made a rare exception because I was so shocked by the Russian special operation.” This is the term Russia uses to refer to the invasion.

Timashev, whose fortune is estimated at $680 million according to Forbes, did not comment on his move. The couple are now Cypriot citizens, but the entrepreneurs have lived in Switzerland and the United States for years. Cyprus is a popular place for wealthy Russians to hide their assets. Last year, a study by the international journalistic research group ICIJ showed that 67 out of 105 Russian billionaires on Forbes' list of the richest people were active in Cyprus.

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Distance from Putin

The oligarchs used the island's financial companies to hide the extent of their wealth and avoid Western sanctions. Shortly after the Russian invasion, more than fifty billionaires from Russia were subject to international sanctions. Of these, 25 were clients of Cypriot companies. They took refuge on the island after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, when the West also imposed sanctions on Moscow and Russian oligarchs.

The number of wealthy Russians who have been subjected to sanctions since the Ukraine war has risen to more than a hundred. In addition to having their yachts and homes confiscated, they are also subject to travel restrictions and having their bank accounts frozen. Although nine wealthy Russians have now dared to hand in their passports, the sanctions have not led to the oligarchs distancing themselves from President Vladimir Putin.

One of the most famous people who have dared to do this so far is banker Oleg Tinkov, whose wealth is estimated at about $4.7 billion. The founder of Tinkoff Bank, one of Russia's largest lenders, announced that he had renounced his citizenship eight months after the invasion. Then Tinkov, who registered his parent company in Cyprus, attacked Putin.