The Vice-President of Russian Gazprombank, Igor Volobuev, left Russia for Ukraine, joining the country’s territorial defence forces. Mr Volubuev, who was born in the Sumy region of Ukraine said he wants to “wash off his Russian past”. He said he plans to stay in Ukraine “until the victory”.
He also described the Russian invasion as “an international crime”.
Mr Volobuev said: “I could no longer be in Russia.
“I am Ukrainian by nationality, I was born in Akhtyrka (Sumy region), I could no longer observe from the outside what Russia is doing with my Motherland.
“My visit is like repentance, I want to wash off my Russian past.
“I want to stay in Ukraine until the victory.”
Speaking to The Insider, Mr Volubuev said that he had wanted to return to Ukraine since 2004, but was unable to do so for family reasons.
“This is an international crime on the part of Putin, the Russian authorities and, in fact, the Russian people.
“Because it is not Putin who kills Ukrainians here, it is not Putin who steals toilet bowls, it is not Putin who rapes women. This is the Russian people.
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“My father lived in a cold basement for a month.
“People I had known since childhood told me they were ashamed of me.
“Nobody in Russia knows about [my departure].”
Putin has been accused of numerous war crimes in Russia since the invasion began, including rape, torture and mass killing of civilians.
Gazprombank is a private-owned Russian bank.
It is the third-largest bank in the country by assets.
The UK placed sanctions on Gazprombank on March 24, exactly one month after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began.
It also sanctioned Alfabank and 59 Russian elites on the same day.