A Russian TV debate about the global economic crisis was thrown into turmoil when former KGB agent turned billionaire newspaper tycoon Alexander Lebedev punched his fellow guest, Sergei Polonsky. Footage of the battle of the billionaire oligarchs has gone viral.
Although the thuggish behaviour has been widely criticized, Lebedev, who owns London’s Evening Standard and The Independent newspapers, has defended his actions on his blog, saying: “In a critical situation, there is no choice. I see no reason to be hit with the first shot. I neutralised him”. Lebedev’s flurry of blows knocked Polonsky out of his chair.
Gawker said it “was probably justified, because Polonsky was the first to say he wanted to ‘stick one in the mouth.’ Now, Polonsky could have been talking about getting a cherry-flavored lollipop for himself, or sticking one (cigarette) in the (cat’s) mouth, or any number of things. But it also might have meant that he was about to punch Lebedev in the kisser.” The snarky website joked that the “most critically injured victim in the skirmish was Lebedev’s tight jeans, which suffered tearing.”