LONDON – Following the Aeroflot office raids, the Deputy Transport Minister of Russia, Kirill Bogdanov has resigned from his post.
It is understood that the resignation is related to violations that have occurred at Aeroflot, to which the Russian government has now placed the blame game for such reasoning.
However, it is clear that the raids occurred following the Financial Times opinion piece from former deputy CEO Andrei Panov who openly criticized Russia about the Ukraine conflict.
Panov: Sabotage The War Effort…
The piece from Panov called on former colleagues to “sabotage the war effort”. He further added:
“I want to tell every colleague — those with whom I worked, built projects, or negotiated deals, every senior Russian business person: I know why you are afraid to speak out against the war”.
“I was the same when I was still in Moscow. I know it is impossible to be a top executive and oppose the political regime, and I am not calling for martyrs or political prisoners. But you can retire, you can leave, and even if neither of these is possible, there are still things you can do.”
“You can sabotage the war effort, by delaying or ignoring every deal or contract which supports the military invasion or Russian propaganda.”
“You can educate your subordinates and make clear to them you are against the war. You can ignore Z parades and refuse to send your staff to participate in them, and you can shout loudly about the economic disaster which grows with each new week of conflict.”
For a bit of context of Panov, he left Aeroflot last month in order to voice his opposition to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
It is understood that the FSB is questioning those in Marketing & Strategy at the airline following the raid itself.
What About the Other Executives?
It seems that the other executives within Aeroflot are still remaining quiet on the issue, probably at the request of the Russian Government.
This is quite a statement in itself, especially with Aeroflot being state-owned, which of course is not going to make President Vladimir Putin too happy.
It would not be surprising if we saw a statement come out from the carrier eventually, pledging its support for the conflict, as those working there don’t want to get into the crossfire of the FSB.
It will be interesting to see what else comes out of Aeroflot, and potentially other people across the Russian aviation industry who wish to speak out about this conflict.