Alexander Lebedev, the Russian mogul unleashed a flurry of punches on oligarch Sergei Polonsky during a TV debate on the global economic crisis.
Alexander Lebedev is a Russian billionaire who owns two British newspapers, The Independent and London Evening Standard, and also his empire includes a third of airline Aeroflot and Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
In front of an astonished studio audience, Alexander Lebedev landed a series of blows on businessman Sergei Polonsky’s head, knocking him off his chair.
Afterwards Alexander Lebedev claimed that he’d had to “neutralize” Sergei Polonsky because he feared he was going to be hit first.
The incredible incident happened during the filming of a NTV debate, due to be aired today.
Few minutes before the attack, Sergei Polonsky had announced that he wanted to “stick one in the mouth”.
Alexander Lebedev, who used to be a KGB agent and now is a media mogul, took to his blog to defend his use of violence, claiming that Sergei Polonsky had been overly aggressive during the discussion.
Lebedev wrote on his blog:
“In a critical situation, there is no choice. I see no reason to be hit with the first shot. I neutralised him.”
Images of the dramatic scene, which have been posted on YouTube, show Alexander Lebedev suddenly losing control and standing over Sergei Polonsky in a threatening manner.
Sergei Polonsky, the real-estate baron appears to attempt to calm him down and Alexander Lebedev takes his seat once more.
After few seconds, without warning, as Sergei Polonsky gently pats him on the arm, Alexander Lebedev decides it’s time to let his fists do the talking.
Lebedev suddenly hits Polonsky several times on the side of the head, sending him sprawling to the floor.
Polonsky stands back up, seemingly unharmed, then the two men stare hard at each other as others in the studio rush to calm the situation down.
Alexander Lebedev is one of the richest men in the world, with a fortune that’s estimated to be in the region of $3.1 billion.