A $1m bounty has been placed on President Vladimir Putin’s head by Russian Entrepreneur Alex Konanykhin who urged the country’s military officers to bring the president to justice.
Mr. Konanykhin, who made the promise in a post on social media site LinkedIn, called it his “moral duty” to take action and help Ukraine following the unprovoked attack.
“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.
A photo of the Russian President was included, with the caption, “Wanted: Dead or alive. Vladimir Putin for mass murder.”
Further, he saidd: “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.”
“Orda” means “horde” in the Russian language.
The history of Mr Konanykhin with the Russian government is a rather complicated one. In 1996, he was arrested while living in the U.S. after Russian authorities alleged he had embezzled $8m from the Russian Exchange Bank.
But, FBI agents testified that the Russian mafia had taken out a contract on him, and the case was settled and he was granted political asylum.
Mr. Konanykhin’s asylum was revoked several years later, but his deportation was eventually cancelled by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, who overruled it, who said that a decision to return him to Moscow “stinks”.
Mr Konanykhin’s reference to blowing up buildings relates to a conspiracy theory that the Russian intelligence service, the FSB (headed by Putin from 1998 to 1999) was responsible for explosions in 4 apartment blocks in 1999 which killed about 300 people.
The attacks, which were blamed on Chechen rebels, sparked the Second Chechen War, which itself helped consolidate Putin’s popularity in Russia.
Putin became prime minister in 1999 and was named acting president on the last day of the year, subsequently being elected to a full term the following March.
That theory was expounded among others by former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated in London in 2006, allegedly by Russian agents using the radioactive isotope polonium-210.