Some Russian businessmen are trying to get Western sanctions lifted, “sliding to anti-Russian positions for 12 silver coins”, and these are “traitors”. This was stated by the press secretary of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the lifting of EU sanctions against several Russian businessmen. His words are quoted by Kommersant.
At the same time, Peskov did not mention the names of those whom he accused of treason, and, on the contrary, called those who “methodically defend their position in the courts” well done.
Speaking of 12 pieces of silver, Peskov probably referred to the Bible, according to which Judas Iscariot received 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus Christ. Peskov did not explain why, in his view, Russian critics of the war receive less than Judas. Perhaps, the number “12” is connected with the number of apostles (according to the Bible, Judas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus).
The day before, it became known about the extension of EU sanctions against Russian individuals. However, Colonel Georgy Shuvaev, who died in Ukraine, and three businessmen – media magnate Hryhoriy Berezkin, former head of Ozon Alexander Shulgin and co-owner of Northgaz Farkhad Akhmedov were excluded from the list. It is not clear whether Peskov meant any of them. Shulgin recently won a court order to remove sanctions from himself, becoming the first Russian businessman to achieve this through the court (the decision did not enter into legal force, the sanctions were formally removed from him due to their non-extension). It is known that a total of about 60 private individuals and companies have filed lawsuits, some of them, in particular Gennady Timchenko, have already lost in court.
None of those from whom sanctions were lifted made public anti-war statements. However, a recording of a telephone conversation allegedly between Akhmedov and producer Iosif Prigozhin, in which both interlocutors insulted the war and Vladimir Putin, got into the network. Prigozhin declared that the conversation was inauthentic, that it was allegedly compiled by a neural network. He commented on the news about the lifting of sanctions against Akhmedov, saying that perhaps the conversation was compiled to achieve this very goal. Prigozhin himself said that now he is afraid to talk even to trees.
At the end of July, Great Britain lifted sanctions against the Russian businessman Oleg Tynkov, who clearly opposed the war. Arkady Volozh, the former co-owner of Yandex, also condemned the war. He also distanced himself from his previous activities in Russia, calling himself an Israeli entrepreneur born in Kazakhstan. The founder of “Eurochem” Andrey Melnychenko called the attacks on civilian objects in Ukraine war crimes, but at the same time he did not directly blame the Russian military for them. The EU did not lift sanctions against Volozh and Melnychenko.