Russian gas tycoon who defected during invasion says Putin ‘must be hanged for his crimes’ – World News

Igor Volobuyev fled Russia just days after the war began and, after two decades of supporting the Kremlin, now feels compelled to “repent” – and he wants the president to pay for it with his life

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A Russian businessman who defected to the Ukraine war just days later says he wants to see Vladimir Putin hanged.

Igor Volobuyev spent more than 20 years at state-owned gas giant Gazprom, where he rose to a prominent position as vice president of the group’s bank.

But he knew he couldn’t support the invasion as he watched horrifying videos of shelling being shot by his childhood friends in Ukraine and fled the country in late February.

He finally resurfaced in Kyiv last week and has now spoken publicly about his decision to defect.

Igor Volobuyev spoke about why he left Russia



“The life I had before the war no longer exists and it doesn’t really bother me.” he told the Telegraph.

Born in Okhtyrka, Ukraine, Volobuyev received Russian citizenship after the collapse of the Soviet Union and quickly assimilated. He happily voted for Putin in 2012, but the annexation of Crimea opened his eyes to the tyrant’s attitude toward his homeland.

“For eight years I was in this inner turmoil: not only did I work in Russia, I worked for Gazprom. I worked for the Russian state,” he explained.

For days he fled the country in the invasion


AFP via Getty Images)

Family commitments prevented him from leaving Russia, but when the tank rolled into Ukraine on February 24, he knew he had to act and “choose my fatherland.”

After being prevented from reaching Okhtyrka on foot, he managed to enter the country by other routes, which he does not want to reveal. He has no citizenship, his bank account has been wiped out as “payback” for his treason, and his attempts to join the Volunteer Army in Kyiv have been rebuffed.

Volobuyev claims he is far from the only Russian tycoon unhappy with the Kremlin’s actions, saying: “I know people whose views are very different from what they publicly say about their job.”

Okhtyrka was badly hit by Russian attacks



“Repenting” his decades of work for the Russian state, he now wants to persuade foreign investors to help rebuild his hometown, which was destroyed by shelling.

He still wants one thing: the death penalty for the Russian president.

“Putin must be tried and hanged,” he said.

“But only in accordance with the law.”

Putin “must be hanged,” says Volobuyev


(Getty Images)

In a chilling parallel, Russian TV pundits have spoken out in favor of public executions in Ukraine.

In March, Dmitry Evstafiev said on Russia-1 that he supports hanging in court-martial because he believes some Ukrainians pose a threat to Russians.

“I would restore the death penalty by hanging myself through a military tribunal,” he said.

“There are people in Ukraine who threaten Russian citizens and pose a threat to us. From my point of view, this is of the utmost importance.”

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