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Billionaire brawl

Watch: Russian billionaire attacks opponent on TV

During a heated debate Alexander Lebedev floored his opponent, later writing: “I neutralised him.”

THE OWNER OF the UK’s Independent and Evening Standard newspapers, Alexander Lebedev, punched a fellow TV guest during a heated debate.

Russian billionaire Lebedev floored opponent Sergei Polonsky, a former property developer, during a television debate on the new global economic crisis and the ways in which Russia can overcome it which will be aired today, The Telegraph reports.

Polonsky is reported to have said he was sick and tired of discussing economic issues with tycoons adding he would rather hit someone. Unfortunately for him, Lebedev beat him to it, flooring  Polonsky with a barrage of punches.


Polonsky tumbled to the floor, before quickly dusting himself off as the debate presenter and security stepped in to break the pair up.

Sky News reports that Lebedev, a former KGB agent who has owned the Evening Standard since 2009 and the Independent since 2010, later wrote on his blog that his opponent had behaved in an aggressive manner throughout the debate and he had no choice.

It quotes him as writing: “In a critical situation, there is no choice. I see no reason to be hit with the first shot. I neutralised him.”

Polonsky later posted pictures online showing a cut arm and torn trousers, BBC News reports, adding that the former property developer is considering legal action.

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