Igor Volobujev, a former vice president of Gazprombanka, which belongs to the Russian gas concern Gazprom, left Russia and fled to Ukraine. Here he joined the ranks of the Kiev militia, which is fighting against Russian troops who crossed the border towards Ukraine at the end of February. He stated this in an interview with writer Sergei Lojkov for The Insider.
“I could not stand it in Russia anymore. I am a Ukrainian by nationality, I was born in Ochtyrka and I could no longer watch what Russia was doing in my homeland, “he said. He takes his visit to his homeland as repentance and longs to cleanse himself of the Russian past. He plans to stay in wartime Ukraine until Ukraine wins. He allegedly tried to return to his home country since 2004, but could not do so for family reasons, he describes.
However, his career at Gazprombance lasted over twenty years. He worked as a public relations expert for six years and managed the local press department for 16 years. After the outbreak of Russia’s war against Ukraine, he packed his things and left Moscow on March 2. Now, according to him, he lives with friends in Kiev.
According to him, his friends in Russia asked him after the war not to tell anyone that he was Ukrainian, while his relatives in Ukraine were ashamed of him for living in Russia and working for the Russians. In the end, therefore, he decided to leave, although he did not feel threatened in Moscow.
He called the actions of Russian soldiers in Ukraine a war crime. He is also critical of the Russians themselves. “It is a crime committed by Putin, the Russian regime and even the Russian people. Because Putin does not kill Ukrainians here, does not steal Putin’s toilet bowls, does not rape Putin. That is what the Russian people are doing. I am also responsible for this, even though I am Ukrainian. I am ashamed and spend the rest of my life repenting because my share of responsibility is twice as large. I’m not just a Russian national. I was born (in Ukraine) and lived there for 18 years, so my responsibility is two or three times greater, “he explained.
The former senior official also commented on the recent mysterious deaths of two Russian oligarchs and their families. “It’s hard to believe that Avalyev would shoot his 13-year-old daughter and wife and then commit suicide,” said Vladislav Avayev, a former Gazprombank vice president and family, on his death.
“I’d like to clarify that it was built, you know, than the vice president. He was the first vice president, which is two positions above me. I don’t know what he did. We didn’t know each other and I had never heard of him before (before he joined Gazprombanka). I also know that at the time of his alleged suicide, he was still Vice President of Gazprombanka. I don’t believe he would be able to kill his own family. I think it was arranged. Why? Hard to say. Maybe he knew something. Maybe he was a threat, “he added.
According to the official version of Russia, Avaev killed himself. The Moscow Komsomol wrote that the banker had committed suicide after torturing his wife, whom he suspected of adultery, for several hours. He eventually murdered his wife and affected thirteen-year-old daughter before ending up with himself. The bodies were discovered on April 18 in an apartment in Moscow.
Volobujev also spoke about the second possible suicide, this time the chief accountant of gas giant Novatek, Sergei Protosenje, his wife Natalia and daughter. Police found the victims a day later than in the case of Avajev, in the Spanish resort of Lloret del Mar.
“The situation with Protosenji is very similar… He allegedly stabbed everyone and hanged himself in a small town in Lloret del Mar, which is very popular among Russian immigrants. All those stories are weird. I don’t believe it was suicide, “Volobujev added.