“Putin has to be put on trial and hanged. But only in accordance with the law,” former Vice President at Gazprombank Igor Volobuev said to the Telegraph.

These are the words the Russian bank executive said after leaving Moscow and deciding to take up arms with the Ukrainian forces against his very own country. Vice President of the state-owned Gazprombank Igor Volobuev has fled Russia in a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine.

Volobuev, 50, who held a senior position at Gazprombank, claimed that he had Ukrainian roots and family living in Ukraine, which is why he was forced to choose sides in a conflict that sees Russians and Ukrainians fighting and living on both sides of the border between the two countries.

“On the first day of the war, my phone burst. I was born and graduated from school in Okhtyrka. My father, younger brother, and friends live there,” Volobuev said in an interview with liga.net.

Former Vice President of Gazprombank Igor Volobuev during an interview (Screenshot from Swankest CZ). Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI5iq-6hZao
Former Vice President of Gazprombank Igor Volobuev during an interview (Screenshot from Swankest CZ/Youtube)

This defection makes him the 4th Russian top executive and Putin ally that has publicly removed themselves from Russia’s sphere of influence due to their personal dislike for Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

He then revealed a grim truth: His father, who was living in Ukraine, had been killed by Russian forces at the early onset of the war, which was the final straw for the former Russian bank executive.

“In just a few days, I decided that I could no longer live in Russia. Because the Russians killed my father, killed my acquaintances, close friends. My father lived in a cold basement for a month,” Volobuev revealed.

“I’ve been told by people I’ve known since I was a kid that they were ashamed of me. You know what I was told? ‘So that we never hear again that you are an Okhtyrchan, that you are Ukrainian. Never.’ I packed my bags and left Russia on March 2,” he continued.