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The Russian Billionaire Selling Putin’s War to the Public

One of the most influential voices bolstering Vladimir Putin’s choice to invade Ukraine belongs to a 71-year-old billionaire who argued {that a} battle might show Russia’s energy.

Yuri Kovalchuk, for many years an in depth pal of the Russian chief, shares Mr. Putin’s vision of Russia as a strong army and cultural counterpoint to the U.S., individuals who know him say. The billionaire and Mr. Putin have met incessantly since the begin of the battle in February, and likewise speak by telephone or video, in accordance to a pal of the Kovalchuk household in addition to to a former Russian intelligence official.

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