Business is difficult for Evgeny Lebedev, Lord Lebedev of Siberia. He uses an extraordinary op-ed today in the Evening Standard, which he owns, to complain that since the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine he has had to switch insurers, pay an extra £100,000 in premiums and suffer the humiliation of being turned down for will-writing by a London law firm and for tickets to the Hampton Court Flower Show by the Royal Horticultural Society. He says he’s “been turned down by all manner of businesses and institutions, who applaud their anti-Russian sentiment as a symbol of moral rectitude after spending decades prostrating for the attention of Russian money”. He is right that the British establishment he once found so welcoming is craven. But it also knows when a line is crossed. Mr Lebedev, your country invaded another country entirely unprovoked and is waging war on its people with unchecked criminality and genocidal intent. You condemned the invasion, but it’s still your country. The apt comparisons are not with your gilded pre-war life but with Nazi Germany. Don’t sound surprised. Don’t be surprised.
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