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Russian business tycoon places $1 million bounty on Putin's head as attacks in Ukraine escalate

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Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S.-based Russian businessman and investor has announced that he's placed a $1 million bounty on Russian President Vladimir Putin's head.

What are the details?

In a Tuesday Facebook post, Alex Konanykhin called on Russian military officers to arrest Putin as a war criminal. Their reward? One million dollars.

In his post, Konanykhin wrote, "I promise to pay $1,000,000 to the officer(s) who, complying with their constitutional duty, arrest(s) Putin as a war criminal under Russian and international laws."

"Putin," he continued, "is not the Russian president as he came to power as the result of a special operation of blowing up apartment buildings in Russia, then violated the Constitution by eliminating free elections and murdering his opponents."

He concluded, "As an ethnic Russian and a Russia citizen, I see it as my moral duty to facilitate the denazification of Russia. I will continue my assistance to Ukraine in its heroic efforts to withstand the onslaught of Putin's Orda."

Konanykhin also added that Facebook removed his initial posting about the bounty and said that the original post contained a graphic of a "dead or alive" poster.

What else?

Konanykhin — a crypto investor — told Insider on Wednesday that the money will come from his personal funds.

"If enough other people make similar statements, it may increase the chances of Putin getting arrested and brought to justice," he told the outlet. "Putin is known to murder his opponents. He has millions of them now."

Konanykhin told the outlet that he has not set foot on Russian soil since 1992 and was granted political asylum in the United States in 1999.

A 1996 article from the Washington Post reported that Konanykhin studied at the Moscow Physics and Technical Institute before opening what was described as a student construction cooperative. He eventually opened more businesses and dabbled in banking, real estate, and trading.

By 1992, the Post noted, Konanykhin's companies were worth approximately $300 million.

In 2021, Konanykhin told the Sun that Putin would "drown [Russia] with blood if need be" rather than ever give up power.

"Such a regime cannot be removed through elections, he doesn't have any parliamentary opposition, he doesn't have media [against him], and every type of organized opposition is wiped clean," he said at the time. "It would have to be removed by force — and there is no such force, domestically or internationally."

Konanykhin added that he believes "only a conflict within the ruling class" would be able to unseat Putin.

"I would love to be wrong, I really hope in a year I will be able to say 'Jesus, how wrong I was in this interview' — but 29 years ago I saw what has happened now," he said. "I saw no scenario in which the KGB would not regain power and would hold it for the foreseeable future — so at that time I made the decision to leave the country."

You can read more on his background as well as his road to the United States here.

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