Long viewed as more of a playboy than a world leader, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has changed his tune in recent weeks since announcing his candidacy for president of his home country.
Prokhorov, the majority owner of the New Jersey Nets and ranked by Forbes as the third-richest person in Russia, said in an interview with the National Post that his country's political state is unacceptable.
"It is time to change," Prokhorov is quoted as saying. "Stability at any price is no longer acceptable for Russians."
The need for change is pressing, Prokhorov said, to avoid a revolution by citizens unhappy with the country's conservative resistance to democracy.
"I am against any revolution, because I know the history of Russia," Prokhorov told the Post. "Every time we have revolution, it was a very bloody period."
Prokhorov, whose rise to power was supposedly aided by his close ties to Vladimir Putin's government, denied that his is running for president in an effort to split the opposition vote.