Wealthy Russian residents in London are concerned about a possible war between the UK and Russia.
Rich clients of Russian international law firm Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners are looking to World War II history for clues about the future, according to Dimitry Afanasiev, the firm’s chairman.
“Coming from Russia, I find the UK a very welcoming, wonderful place to be,” Afanasiev said at a Henley & Partners conference in London.
“Having said that, there is a problem. I’ve had five of our high-net-worth clients individually asking our law firm to do research on internment in the Second World War,” he said.
“British citizens, not just residents, of Italian and German nationalities, as well as Russians for some reason, were interned in the Isle of Man. Many of them have died.”
“So the question the clients in London are putting to us here is, ‘if there is a war between NATO members and Russia, then are we going to be interned?’,” Afanasiev said.
“I like jokes but this is not a joke,” he added.
Tensions between Russia and NATO, of which the UK is a member, have been rising steadily for the past 12 months.
Earlier this month, NATO held an emergency exercise drill in Montenegro while Russian troops participated in a war game in Serbia. The five-day drill included fighting floods and chemical attacks, involving 680 personnel from seven NATO countries and 10 partner states.
During World War II, around 10,000 “civilian enemy aliens,” both male and female, were interned on the Isle of Man in 10 camps on the island. Around the camps for males, barbed wire fences were erected and military guard was brought over from England.