One of the most influential voices in favor of Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine belongs to a 71-year-old billionaire who thinks a war could demonstrate Russia’s might.
Yuri Kovalchuk, the Russian leader’s close friend for decades, shares Putin’s vision of Russia as a powerful cultural and military counterweight to the United States, people who know him say. According to a friend of the Kovalchuk family as well as a former Russian intelligence official, the billionaire and Putin have met regularly since the start of the war in February, and also spoke by phone or video. .
https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-billionaire-selling-putins-war-ukraine-11669994410 The Russian Billionaire Selling Putin’s War to the Public