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Media magnate Lebedev could sell Russian assets

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Media magnate Lebedev could sell Russian assets


A Russian billionaire has warned that he may sell his business assets in the country after coming under pressure from the Kremlin.

Banker and media magnate Alexander Lebedev says Russia could face a wave of political repression, with Vladimir Putin back in the presidency.

The former KGB agent fears he himself could be jailed on politically motivated charges.

“Well, I don’t have much time, really…,” Lebedev said at his office in Moscow. “As far as I am concerned, I was never aware of what is wrong with what I have been doing. Okay I was funding a newspaper they consider oppositionary.”

Known in Britain as the backer of The Independent and London’s Evening Standard, Lebedev also a stake in the campaigning Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has criticised the Kremlin.

He says he may face a similar fate to Alexei Navalny. Charged with theft, the opposition leader has been barred from leaving Russia and could face 10 years behind bars.

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