A Russian businessman residing overseas has taken a drastic stance against President Vladimir Putin, threatening to kill him if he is not apprehended “dead or alive.”
Alex Konanykhin, a Russian internet entrepreneur based in the United States, wrote a letter on LinkedIn on Sunday criticizing Putin for invading Ukraine. He bemoaned the war choice and called Putin a war criminal. The tycoon promised a bounty on Putin to any of his military officers who acted against him when he was at the height of his game.
“I promise to pay $1,000,000 to the officer(s) who, complying with their constitutional duty, arrest(s) Putin as a war criminal under Russian and international laws,” said Konanykhin, who is now head of a cryptocurrency firm in San Francisco. “As an ethnic Russian and a Russian citizen, I see it as my moral duty to facilitate the denazification of Russia.”
Konanykhin said in his article that Putin was never a legitimate president and that he came to power by “bombing up apartment buildings in Russia.” He appeared to be referring to suspicions that Russian security services blew up a succession of apartment buildings around Russia in 1999, blaming it on Chechen rebels, in order to speed Putin’s rise to power.
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Konanykhin went on to say that Putin broke the Russian constitution by strengthening his grip on power by eliminating free elections and “murdering his political opponents,” according to Konanykhin.
Konanykhin, 55, was the Russian Exchange Bank’s founder, co-owner, and President. In the late 1990s, he was granted asylum in the United States.
He is the most recent affluent Russian to speak out against Ukraine’s invasion. Following the announcement of extensive penalties against Russian oligarchs thought to be close to Putin by President Joe Biden and his European counterparts, several moved to distance themselves from the Kremlin.
Others have taken precautions to protect their wealth or assets in the event of sanctions. Several Russian oligarchs began relocating their boats from Western ports to jurisdictions where they were less likely to be seized, such as the Maldives. Others, such as Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, have started selling their assets before authorities may seize them.