An interview with a banker, venture capitalist and now soldier in Ukraine's conflict with Vladimir Putin's Russia will live long in the memory. It is the editor's choice for story of the year.
Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, writes: It is sometimes tough to choose the article that had the most impact in terms of influencing opinion, stimulating debate and making a difference to readers' business lives. In 2022, however, it's not been tough to find the standout article for sheer emotional as well as factual impact. This interview with Eric Kadyrov, a former investment banker at UBS and Credit Suisse who founded a venture capital business, is my choice for article of the year. Russia's invasion of Ukraine shocked the world; it sent energy markets into turmoil and prices skyrocketed. It threatened massive disruption to supplies of such commodities such as wheat and cooking oil; it prompted millions to flee their homes, and created the largest European land war since 1945.
The team at this news service hope for an end to the violence and trauma in Ukraine, and make no apology for hoping that Vladimir Putin's attempted conquest of a sovereign nation state fails, and is seen to fail. Furthermore, the story of Ukraine is one of a country, however imperfectly, trying to build a better future for itself as a liberal democracy free from the old clutches of the Soviet Union. We tend to forget how relatively recent the old Soviet system was. I was a cub reporter just out of college when the Berlin Wall fell. A whole generation of people were able to turn their attention to building careers in finance, technology and other fields. This was Eric Kadyrov's world, and like his countrymen, he seized it. He was a product of California's Silicon Valley - a world apart from battles that seem more redolent of the era of Stalin and Hitler than the 21st Century. (See a related video from this news service here on the impact of the war on wealth management.)
History never stops; it never repeats exactly but it does, to coin a term, rhyme. In this time of celebration and Christmas festivity, spare a thought for the people of Ukraine. And spare a thought too for the young Russian conscripts, some barely in their 20s, who are dying and wounded. This publication has no quarrel with the millions of Russians who want to get on with life, nor with those Russians who have done nothing wrong and who have, alas, found their lives turned upside down.