Russian oligarchs who made billions under Putin’s regime are now trying to distance themselves from the dictator. They massively challenge the EU sanctions in court.
Well-known Russian oligarchs no longer want anything to do with the dictator. So, 61 individuals and companies from Russia and Belarus have already filed lawsuits with the EU Court. The oligarchs are trying to challenge the sanctions imposed on them.
Russian oligarchs dispute ties with Putin
Oligarchs and organizations were put on EU sanctions lists because they financially or politically supported Putin and his campaign, particularly a full-scale war against Ukraine. Outraged billionaires are trying to convince others that their assets were allegedly unfairly frozen and illegally confiscated.
Thus, one of the leading Russian businessmen, multi-billionaire Grigory Berezkin, demands “one euro compensation for non-material damage caused by sanctions.” Meanwhile, Cyprus stripped him of his citizenship. Berezkin complains in his lawsuit that he allegedly “caused serious damage to his reputation,” especially since he allegedly “has nothing to do with the events in Ukraine and does not support the Russian government.”
Another Russian oligarch, Sergey Mndoyants, who manages the telecommunications company “Sistema” and is responsible for relations with the Russian government, tries to convince that he is a small businessman. In his lawsuit, Mndoyants noted that the EU included him in the sanctions list, although it was not proven that he was a “significant and leading businessman.”
Even close associates turn their backs on Putin
Even associates close to the Russian dictator suddenly began to distance themselves from him. A vivid example is Putin’s friend Gennady Timchenko, with whom the president played hockey. He is the main shareholder of Bank “Russia” (his fortune is estimated at 20 billion euros).
Mr. Tymchenko lives in a luxurious villa on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. In his lawsuit, he absurdly accused the EU of an “obvious error of judgment” regarding “the relationship between the plaintiff and President Putin.” For this, Tymchenko demands one billion euros in compensation.
Another outraged oligarch is Alisher Usmanov, whose villa on Lake Tegernsee was previously searched. The authorities tried to include him in the list of EU sanctions urgently, but the judges rejected it.
The Kremlin is trying to whitewash Putin
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has instructed Russian propaganda media to portray Putin as a “harbinger of good news,” a “competent military leader,” and a leader who maintains connections with the people. For this purpose, they even organized a meeting between Putin and the joint headquarters. However, even Russian military bloggers doubt the veracity of such information.
In addition to whitewashing his image, Putin will now participate in ridiculous events more often. In particular, such as the opening of a farm or a repaired highway. ISW analysts are convinced that this will not help in any way to improve the reputation of the dictator, and even, on the contrary, it can undermine Putin’s populist appeal in Russian society, which already has less and less faith in Kremlin propaganda.