What difference do oligarchs condemning the war make for Putin’s Russia?

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Sanctions on Russia


“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is barbaric, and I’m categorically against it,” declared Arkady Volozh, the co-founder of Russia-based search engine Yandex last week. ... Volozh’s recent public condemnation of the war could appear as an example of the fact that the EU-imposed sanctions worked as intended, breaking down Volozh’s alleged loyalty to Putin. But that’s hardly the case, according to Emily Ferris, Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Security at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British security and defence think tank. “It’s very easy to speak out against the regime when you’re not in the country and when most of your assets are no longer in the country,” Ferris told Euronews. “Most of the oligarchs, frankly, have not spoken up against the war,” she added. “And that is because most of them are still in Russia, and still have their assets there. I’ve not seen so many oligarchs moving their assets out of Russia - and that’s partly because it’s actually very hard to do so.”