Protesters at Russian-born billionaire’s Manhattan hotel demand his stance on war
Developer Vladislav Doronin “denounces the aggression and wishes for peace,” a spokesperson said
UPDATED March 1, 2022, 12:47 a.m.: Protesters of the Russian invasion of Ukraine gathered near the soon-to-open Aman New York resort in Manhattan on Saturday, demanding to know where the Russian-born businessman who owns the ritzy inn stands on the country’s attack.
Billionaire Vladislav Doronin, who operates the Aman chain of hoity-toity hotels, made headlines last summer when it was announced his company would be offering a special “members only” space inside the Fifth Avenue building to 100 clients willing to part with a $100,000 initiation fee (along with the $15,000 annual membership). Now, protesters want to know what kind of person is benefiting from the hotel’s revenue.
“If someone is going to spend that much money, they need to know if it will then support a regime that just started a war in Ukraine,” said Manhattan lawyer Peter Zinkovetsky, a Ukraine native who helped plan the protest in front of Aman. “We want to know where he stands.”
Doronin’s new club, located inside the Crown building, promises members the opportunity to access a 24-7 “private office” that will help take care of travel planning to other Aman resorts as well as offer upgrades, on-demand spa treatments, private club access, and lax check-in and check-out times, according to the New York Post.
But the protesters want to know at what cost those high-end conveniences come.
“Every major Russian company doing business in the United States needs to answer if they support the Putin regime or not,” Zinkovetsky said. “If they want to make money here, they need to take a stand.”
Zinkovetsky, who said he is from, and has family living in, Kharkiv, a city under attack by Russian missiles and troops, told The Real Deal the protesters on hand Saturday included Ukrainians, Georgians and Russians.
Real estate agent Michael Mudrik, who grew up in the city of Dunaivtsi, in Ukraine’s Khmelnitsky region, said a second protest is planned for Monday at one of Doronin’s Miami properties.
“I have friends and family living in Kyiv who are under bombs, and cousins who have joined the national army,” he said. “It is hard to sit here and do nothing. We would love to stop this.”
A spokesperson for Doronin said the billionaire is not in favor of war.
“I denounce the aggression of Russia on Ukraine and fervently wish for peace,” Doronin said in a statement provided to The Real Deal.
Paul O’Connor, a lawyer for Doronin, later added that Doronin is not Russian and has never been a citizen of Russia, that Aman is not a Russian company, and that neither Doronin nor his company support, financially or otherwise, the Putin regime or the invasion of Ukraine.
This article has been updated with a statement from a lawyer representing Vladislav Doronin.