Russian steel billionaire calls Ukraine invasion a ‘difficult to justify tragedy’

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Russian oligarch Vladimir Lisin has called for a peaceful resolution to the attack on Ukraine.

Lisin, the chairman and major shareholder of one of Russia’s largest steelmakers, sent a letter with the board to his staff at Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) saying he hoped the war could end soon and calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to achieve a diplomatic result. Reuters first reported the letter.

A spokesperson for NLMK confirmed the letter with Insider.

“I would like to begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to all the victims of the armed conflict in Ukraine, to the families and loved ones of those who died,” Lisin wrote. “The lives lost are always a huge tragedy that cannot be justified. I am convinced that the peaceful resolution of diplomatic disputes is always preferable to the use of force.”

Lisin is one of Russia’s richest men and the 81st richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. The steel magnate is currently worth around US$19.1 billion. His fortune has fallen by more than $5 billion since Russia began invading Ukraine, according to the index.

The Russian billionaire has so far been able to avoid sanctions, but the UK is considering sanctions on its 3,000-acre 17th-century Aberuchill Castle in Scotland, according to a BBC report.

Russia’s wealthiest have not been immune to the impact of Western sanctions. Sanctions targeting the Russian economy and financial systems have reduced their net worth. Meanwhile, the United States, Canada and European nations have also moved to directly target Russian oligarchs by seizing their Western assets.

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