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Leaked documents allege Russian state companies’ investment in Twitter, Facebook

November 06, 2:33 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

According to ICIJ, Russia’s "VTB Bank quietly directed $191 million into an investment fund, DST Global, that used the money to buy a large stake in Twitter in 2011"

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WASHINGTON, November 6. /TASS/. Russian state companies allegedly made large investments in Twitter and Facebook, according to leaked documents dubbed The Paradise Papers, which have been released by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

"ICIJ and 95 media partners explored 13.4 million leaked files from a combination of leaked files of offshore law firms and the company registries in some of the world’s most secretive countries," the Consortium said on its website, adding that The Paradise Papers were "a global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies."

According to ICIJ, Russia’s "VTB Bank quietly directed $191 million into an investment fund, DST Global, that used the money to buy a large stake in Twitter in 2011." The Paradise Papers also allege that "a subsidiary of the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom heavily funded an offshore company that partnered with DST Global in a large investment in Facebook." "DST Global’s founder, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, and other partners in the deals reaped large gains when they sold their stakes shortly after Facebook’s initial public offering in 2012 and Twitter’s in 2013," the documents add.

"In 2015, Milner was one of several high-profile investors in Cadre, a New York-based real estate technology firm co-founded by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and an adviser to the president. The company was founded in 2014 by Kushner and his brother, Joshua, along with another entrepreneur. Milner said he invested $850,000 of his own money. None of the funds came from DST Global, he said," ICIJ said.

The leaked documents also claim that "Milner acknowledged that VTB, the Russian bank, was one of the partners that helped bankroll the Twitter investment."

At the same time, Milner said that "his stake in the presidential son-in-law’s company is ‘no different’ from other investments he has made - it’s about business, not political connections," The Paradise Papers say.

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