Ukraine oligarch: Putin is a “schizophrenic of short stature”

Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky, who this weekend agreed to become governor of his native Dnipropetrovsk region as the country braces for a broader Russian invasion into eastern Ukraine, described Russia’s president Vladimir Putin as a “schizophrenic of short stature” for putting Russia and Ukraine on the verge of war.

“I don’t understand how Ukrainians and Russians can fight,” he said in an online video.

Speaking for the first time since taking over as Dnipropetrovsk governor, the Ukrainian businessman of Jewish roots first took a sharp shot at toppled Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, before quickly turning towards Putin.

Kolomoisky, known as one of Ukraine’s most tight-lipped oligarchs, broke his habitual silence saying: “I will say it undiplomatically.”

“We had our own big schizophrenic,” he said referring to Yanukovich, a tall man who towers over Putin.

“But there,” he said, giggling and referring to Russisa, “is a schizophrenic of short stature.”

Kolomoisky, who is known for his sense of humour, went on: “He is completely inadequate. He has completely lost his mind. His messianic drive to recreate the Russian empire of 1913 or the USSR of 1991 could plunge the world into catastrophe.”

Russia, he said, “will play this card… I don’t know… perhaps until Turkey blocks” the Bosphorus “to its oil tankers.”

He concluded: “No agreement with Russia is worth the paper it is written on. But we need to keep calm, avoid being provoked.”

Back to beyondbrics

Related reading:
Akhmetov joins Ukraine oligarchs in pledging to protect homeland, FT
Oligarchs hold key to Yanukovich’s grip on power, FT