Bill Browder, the financier Vladimir Putin wants dead, says he now gets regular calls from US and British officials seeking his advice

·3 min read
Investor and political activist Bill Browder (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right)
Investor and political activist Bill Browder (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right)Getty Images
  • Bill Browder says he gets regular calls from US and British officials since Russia's invasion.

  • The financier was speaking in a new episode of the "One Decision" podcast.

  • He said there is now more interest in Russia because Putin is killing civilians in Ukraine.

Bill Browder, the financier who has been one of Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics, said he now gets regular calls from US and British government ministers and officials seeking his advice since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.

Before Putin's invasion, he told the "One Decision" podcast he was not able to arrange meeting with UK politicians, but now the "doors are swinging wide open in a lot of different places with people wanting to talk to me".

"All of sudden, I'm getting calls from cabinet ministers, asking for advice – and not just the British government," Browder said.

He was also being contacted by both the US and Canadian governments: "There's certainly a lot more interest because everyone can watch on their television as innocent people are being destroyed, and children killed."

"Everyone understands that this comes from Putin's criminal activities, and a big part of his criminal activity is stealing money and a big part of that stolen money finds his way into our economies in the West," Browder added.

Browder founded Hermitage Capital Management in 1996, which quickly became one of the world's best-performing funds. He has spent much of the past two decades in the crosshairs of the Russian president for his efforts to expose corruption in post-Soviet Russia among oligarchs and their companies, creating a long list of enemies, including Putin.

Browder, who was declared a national security threat to Russia in 2005 and banned from entering the country, was named by Putin at a joint press conference with then president Donald Trump after their summit in Helsinki in July 2018.

The Russian president claimed Browder's business associates had never paid any tax in either Russia or the US on more than $1.5 billion earned in Russia, according to the Atlantic Council.

Browder's lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in 2009 in a Russian jail under mysterious circumstances.

In the podcast episode, Browder also said he was added eight times to Interpol's list of Red Notices, which are issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a jail sentence.

He said of the system: "I think we're coming to the point where there needs to be sort of a new Interpol set up with just rule-of-law countries."

Browder said that Putin has wanted him dead for some time. "The main way he wanted to kill me was not by putting novichok on my doorknob – or maybe he did want to do that, but decided not to," Browder said. "But the main way he wanted to kill me was to get me back to Russia via international legal means, and then kill me in a Russian prison."

He concluded: "That's that was his objective. And the way he went about that was by issuing Interpol arrest warrants."

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