Ex-VP of Gazprom Bank on suicides in Russia: “They knew too much…” – Politics abroad

He earned close to $200,000 a year, lived well in Moscow and, despite the war, is said to have lived in the Ukraine keep living this life…

But the deputy director of the Russian bank Gazprom, Igor Volobuyev (50), decided on another path: he quit his job and returned to his native country, Ukraine, to fight the Russians there.

BILD spoke to Volobuyev about his decision.


Volobuyev in conversation with Maxim Kurnikov on the Russian channel BILD-TVFoto: BILD

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Volobuyev in conversation with Maxim Kurnikov on the Russian channel BILD-TVPhoto: BILD

When he woke up on the first morning of February 24, the first news of the Russian attack reached him and his phone received more and more messages from friends and relatives in Ukraine who were experiencing the horrors of the war, he firmly represented the top manager: He cannot stay in the country of the aggressor!

“I decided to go to Ukraine on the same day to defend the country there,” says Igor Volobuyev about his decision.

“Of course, I didn’t tell anyone in Moscow about my decision. It took me a few days to organize my departure. I left most of what I had and flew there. EU via Istanbul on March 2. From there I traveled to Ukraine and immediately joined the army.

But she rejected his offer. The argument: he has no military experience and would not survive a day at the front. “This is what differentiates Ukraine from Russia. We are not looking for cannon fodder, we are looking for experienced soldiers,” Volobuyev says.

“Basically, there is a crucial difference between Russians and Ukrainians in terms of mentality. While Russians always obey and serve their superiors, Ukrainians want to live in freedom. That is why, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have always been free elections and an independent press here.

Then he tries to explain why the Russian military acts so brutally against civilians:

“I think when the Russian soldiers came across free people who looked them in the eye without fear, it provoked even more aggression from them, which resulted in terrible massacres of civilians.”

During the many years spent in Moscow, Volobuyev acquired a deep knowledge of the Russian elite and its thinking.

“For example, at Gazprom, many know that what their country has been doing in Ukraine since 2014 is not right. They understand where Russia is going,” says the longtime head of Gazprom Bank.

“But they dare not do anything about it. Also because they know their government is capable of anything.

He assumes that alleged suicides of several senior Russian leaders in recent weeks, there have been no suicides. “They knew too much, so they were eliminated.”

Igor Volobuyev left his hometown of Oktyrka in eastern Ukraine in 1989, while still in the Soviet Union. He went to Moscow to study.

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