Igor Volobuyev: Gazprom executive who fled Russia says he wants Putin hanged

Russian gas executive Igor Volobuyev, who fled the country days after Moscow invaded its neighbor and emerged in kyiv, has called for Vladimir Putin to be hanged for his actions in launching a military assault on Ukraine.

“[Mr] Putin must be tried and hanged. But only in accordance with the law, ”said the deputy chairman of Gazprom. The telegraph.

He watched the ‘special military operation’, as Mr Putin called it, unfold on his phone and received SOS calls from people who said they needed to be rescued from Russian troops storming into the besieged country.

“I was glued to my phone. It felt like I was sitting in a cozy cinema watching a horror movie,” Mr Volobuyev said, according to the report.

“It’s such a miserable feeling when people call you and say, ‘The Russians are killing us. You work at Gazprombank. You are an important guy. Can you do anything to stop this?

The senior Gazprom official appeared in kyiv last week, saying he had fled Russia to fight alongside Ukrainian soldiers in a sudden and dramatic exit.

“I couldn’t look aside at what Russia was doing to my homeland,” said Mr Volobuev, who was born in the town of Okhtyrka in northeastern Ukraine.

“The Russians were killing my father, my acquaintances and my close friends. My dad lived in a cold basement for a month. People I knew from childhood told me they were ashamed of me,” Mr Volobuyev said.

From his childhood friends, he continued to receive videos of shells falling on his Ukrainian hometown of Okhtyrka.

He had spent two decades at Gazprom and had become the deputy chairman of Gazprombank, Russia’s third-largest bank, but he felt guilty as the streak of invasions intensified in his homeland.

“For eight years I was in this internal turmoil: I didn’t just work in Russia, but I worked for Gazprom. I worked for the Russian state,” he said, according to the report.

He pondered the idea of ​​moving to Ukraine, but family obligations bound him to his life in Russia and the dilemma only grew on February 24 when troops sent from Moscow began rolling their tanks inside former Soviet territory.

“I couldn’t live like this any longer: I had to choose between my family and my homeland, and I chose my homeland,” Volobuyev said.

Within seconds, he drove to the Russian-Ukrainian border, parked his BMW there for an endless period of time and fled on foot to his hometown, setting off for the next 30 kilometers in the middle of the war.

His childhood friends warned him. He could be shot by Ukrainian border guards or a Russian drone could end his life.

Mr Volobuyev then bought a ticket to Riga, Latvia, via Istanbul and flew to the airport with only one piece of hand luggage.

He took as much money as he could to get out of the country’s borders – £8,000.

What remains secretive are his methods of sneaking into Ukraine, he said, citing security concerns.

He adds that leaving Russia was easy but getting to Ukraine was as difficult as flying to the moon.

He is among hundreds of Russia’s key businessmen, as well as monarchs, who have faced the heat of financial loss after Western countries imposed a series of sanctions on the Kremlin.

Now his savings in Gazprombank accounts are at zero because not only did he lose access to his Visa card, but he also said his MasterCard was just a piece of plastic after operations were suspended. business in Russia.

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