Reported By Abby Liebing | March 3, 2022
A bounty has been put out for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Alex Konanykhin, a Russian businessman, has offered a $1 million bounty to Russian officers to arrest Putin as a war criminal, Business Insider reported.
“I promise to pay $1,000,000 to the officer(s) who, complying with their constitutional duty, arrest(s) Putin as a war criminal under Russian and international laws. Putin is not the Russian president as he came to power as the result of a special operation of blowing up apartment buildings in Russia, then violated the Constitution by eliminating free elections and murdering his opponents,” Konanykhin wrote in a Facebook post.
The explosion to which Konanykhin referred is part of a theory that the Russian Federal Security Service, of which Putin was head from 1998 to 1999, blew up apartments in 1999, then blamed it on Chechens. That explosion, was part of what sparked the Second Chechen War, an effort that made Putin very popular in Russia. In 1999, Putin became the Russian prime minister, before being named acting president on Dec. 31 of that year. He was elected to the presidency in March 2000, the Independent reported. With obvious animosity, Konanykhin also noted that he felt it was his duty to oppose Putin’s war and keep assisting Ukraine against the Russian president.
“As an ethnic Russian and a Russia citizen, I see it as my moral duty to facilitate the denazification of Russia. I will continue my assistance to Ukraine in its heroic efforts to withstand the onslaught of Putin’s Orda,” he added in his post.
Konanykhin’s original Facebook post included a photo of Putin, with the caption, “Wanted: Dead or alive. Vladimir Putin for mass murder,” the Independent reported.
Facebook then banned his post.
But Konanykhin then re-posted with just the text informing about his bounty offer.
“Facebook banned my post; do you think it was a correct decision? I omit the picture as it was a ‘dead or alive’ poster, but this is the text,” he wrote.
Konanykhin is one of the many Russian businessmen who rose to wealth and prominence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to Newsweek. Konanykhin said he has not visited Russia since 1992, Business Insider reported.
The Russian businessman has a complicated history with the Russian government. In 1996 he was in the U.S. but was arrested after Russian authorities claimed he has embezzled $8 million from the Russian Exchange Bank, the Independent reported. However, the U.S. gave him political asylum after several FBI agents testified that the Russian mafia had put a contract on Konanykhin. Several years later, his asylum was revoked, but he was not deported. A U.S. district judge cancelled his deportation, saying that returning Konanykhin to Moscow “stinks.”
After placing a bounty on Putin, Konanykhin was asked if he feared that Putin would come after him for putting a bounty on his head.
“Putin is known to murder his opponents,” he said, Business Insider reported. “He has millions of them now.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abby Liebing, Associate
Abby Liebing is a Hillsdale College graduate with a degree in history. She has written for various outlets and enjoys covering foreign policy issues and culture.