Russian lawmakers threatened U.K.-sanctioned tycoon Oleg Tinkov with criminal prosecution over a blunt anti-war post.
Tinkov previously claimed 90% of Russians oppose the “insane” invasion of Ukraine, denouncing the military campaign as a “massacre” waged by a “sh*t army.”
“Of course there are morons who draw Z [Russia’s war symbol], but 10% of any country are morons,” the banker wrote Tuesday on Instagram.
Biysultan Khamzayev, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said Tinkov’s sociology is “skewed” because he is based outside Russia.
“First of all, any patriot should stop using this bank’s services and investigative bodies should inspect how his bank works,” said Khamzayev.
The ruling pro-Kremlin United Russia party member suggested Tinkov’s assessment of pro- and anti-war views among Russians could be subject to criminal charges under Russia’s recent law against “fake news.”
The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin days after he ordered troops into Ukraine, uses a broad definition of “fake news” about the military and introduces jail terms of up to 15 years.
“I intend to ask the Investigative Committee to inspect his statement for fakeness,” he said in an audio of a conversation posted on the Duma’s Telegram channel Tuesday.
A previouys complaint by Khamzayev resulted in criminal charges being brought last month against prominent political commentator Alexander Nevzorov.
Tinkoff Bank, which Tinkov founded in 2006, distanced itself from its ex-chairman's “private opinion.”
“He is not a Tinkoff employee, and has not been in Russia for a long time and has been dealing with health issues in recent years,” the bank said in a statement.
The U.K. slapped asset freezes and travel bans on Tinkov as part of western sanctions imposed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.