Financial TimesFinancial Times

Russia’s oligarchs powerless to oppose Putin over Ukraine invasion

By Max Seddon

01 Mar 2022 · 4 min read

As Russia’s tanks rolled into Ukraine last week, Vladimir Putin gathered the country’s top businessmen in the Kremlin’s ornate Hall of the Order of St Catherine to discuss their response to the economic shocks that would follow.

The Russian president, seated about 20ft away in a conspicuous social-distancing measure, told them he had “no other choice” but to invade Ukraine — and, if they wanted to keep their businesses, neither did they, according to people briefed on the meeting.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content