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Billionaire oligarch called ‘Putin’s favourite industrialist’ says ‘destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake’

Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

  • Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally, spoke to Russian reporters about the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.
  • Deripaska, who faces international sanctions, cast doubt on Russia’s hope of “victory” over Ukraine.
  • “I think that destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake, including for us,” he said.

Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire aluminum tycoon and close Vladimir Putin ally, spoke out against the war in Ukraine on Tuesday while speaking with local journalists, suggesting there would be no winner following Russia’s invasion, Reuters reported.

Deripaska, described by some as Putin’s favorite industrialist, also lamented the economic impact of the invasion and subsequent sanctions, which he said have rolled back progress made by international business partnerships. 

“I’m troubled by how quickly we abandoned everything that was achieved (economically) in the ’90s, then we abandoned everything that we achieved in the 2000s, and now we are sitting and waiting for victory. Victory of what? Whose victory?” Reuters reported Deripaska said to a group of reporters in Moscow.

The Russian oligarch — who faces sanctions by the United States, Britain, and the European Union — has become more vocal about his opposition to the war since the early days of the invasion, but was careful not to speak poorly of the Russian leader.

Prominent critics of Putin were poisoned and killed under suspicious circumstances prior to the invasion.

“I think that destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake, including for us,” Reuters reported Deripaska said.

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