Billionaire oligarch called ‘Putin’s favorite industrialist’ says ‘destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake’ | Local News

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  • Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Putin, spoke to Russian journalists about the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

  • Deripaska, who faces international sanctions, questioned Russia’s hope of “victory” over Ukraine.

  • “I think destroying Ukraine would be a colossal mistake, including for us,” he said.

Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire aluminum tycoon and close ally of Vladimir Putin, spoke out against the war in Ukraine on Tuesday in an interview with local journalists, suggesting there would be no winners after the Russian 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 set back progress made in international business partnerships.

“I am troubled by how quickly we gave up everything that was achieved (economically) in the 90s, then we gave up everything that we achieved in the 2000s, and now we sit and wait for victory. Victory for what? Victory for whom?” Reuters reported Deripaska told a group of reporters in Moscow.

The Russian oligarch – who faces sanctions from 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 ill of the Russian leader.

Prominent Putin critics were poisoned and killed in suspicious circumstances before the invasion.

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

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