Russian lawmakers have threatened UK-sanctioned tycoon Oleg Tinkov with criminal charges over a brutal anti-war post.
Tinkov had previously claimed that 90% of Russians opposed the “crazy” invasion of Ukraine, denouncing the military campaign as a “massacre” perpetrated by a “shitty army”.
“Of course there are morons who draw Z [Russia’s war symbol]but 10% of all countries are morons,” the banker wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.
Biysultan Khamzayev, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said Tinkov’s sociology was “flawed” because he is based outside Russia.
“First of all, any patriot should stop using the services of this bank, and investigative bodies should inspect the operation of his bank,” Khamzayev said.
The ruling member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party suggested that Tinkov’s assessment of pro- and anti-war views among Russians could face criminal charges under Russia’s recent law against “false news”.
The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin days after ordering troops into Ukraine, uses a broad definition of “fake news” about the military and introduces prison terms of up to 15 years.
“I intend to ask the Investigative Committee to inspect his statement for any falsity,” he said Tuesday in the audio of a conversation posted on the Duma’s Telegram channel.
A previous complaint by Khamzayev last month led to criminal charges against prominent political commentator Alexander Nevzorov.
Tinkoff Bank, which Tinkov founded in 2006, has distanced itself from the “private opinion” of its ex-president.
“He is not an employee of Tinkoff, has not been in Russia long, and has had health issues in recent years,” the bank said in a statement.
The UK imposed asset freezes and travel bans on Tinkov as part of Western sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.