Classics The Russian Social Network Vkontakte passes under the control of Gazprom and Sogaz

23:25  03 december  2021
23:25  03 december  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Russia ’s Gazprom has gained control of the country’s largest social media network , VKontakte , following a string of deals to buy out Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov from the platform's holding company. The transactions give the Russian state significant involvement in a key part of Russia ’s online space at a time when critics say the Kremlin is on an aggressive drive to boost its control over social media platforms. Usmanov’s investment vehicle USM Holdings sold a 45% stake in MF Technologies, the holding company that controls VK Group, to Russian insurance company Sogaz

Leadership of Vkontakte , Russia ’s most popular social network , will likely fall to the son of the Kremlin’s domestic policy czar, two sources told The Bell on Friday, claiming “95-percent certainty” that Vladimir Kiriyenko will take over as CEO. A day earlier, another source claimed that Kiriyenko Jr. might find work in the insurance behemoth Sogaz , which acquired control over VK on Thursday in a monster deal with Alisher Usmanov’s USM holding company. Another two sources confirmed to the news website RBC that Vladimir Kiriyenko will be VK’s next head.

Le stand du réseau social russe VKontakte au Forum économique international de Saint-Pétersbourg, le 24 mai 2018. © AFP - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV The Stand of the Russian Social Network Vkontakte at the International Economic Forum of St. Petersburg, May 24, 2018.

This is the last stage From the control by the Kremlin of Vkontakte, the "Russian Facebook". Created in 2006 by Pavel Durov, the multimilliardaire founder of Telegram who shares his time between London, Dubai and several other capitals, the most used social network of the country passed under Gazprom (9%) and especially Sogaz (45%). ), a company owned by a long-standing friend of Russian President.

with our correspondent in Moscow, Anissa El Jabri

with Gazprom on one side, but especially Sogaz on the other, the assets of the Russian Facebook are now well supervised and directed. Several Russian media announced it from Friday, December 3rd, the new Vkontakte CEO is called Vladimir Kirienko. This is the son of the Deputy Chief of the Presidential Administration Sergei Kirienko.

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On a site of Insurance group " Sogaz " it is reported that board of directors companies the day before approved 45 percent participation in the capital JOINT-STOCK COMPANY "MF TEKHNOLOGII", controlling a share in 57,3 percent of shares of VK.Sredi of assets of VK - social networks social network federal information portal "SakhaNews". USM Holdings Ltd the billionaire Alisher Usmanov sold a package of voting shares of VK (the former Mail.ru Group) to Insurance group " Sogaz " (subsidiary of the state monopoly PUBLIC JOINT-STOCK COMPANY " GAZPROM "). On a site of

Gazprom ’s structure controls Gazprombank. Gazprom also created the Sogaz insurance company. Gazprom structures now own 21.19%, and Sogaz ’s co-owners are the Aquila business (connected to Rossiya Bank). Yuri Kovalchuk, 32.3% of Sogaz shares owned) and SG-Invest Anton Ustinov, holds A 90% stake in MF Technologies, which also owns a controlling stake of VK, could be under control of structures associated to Gazprom . Chairman of Sogaz ’s Management Board, and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Alexey MillerInterfax reported that the deal to enter MF Technologies’ capital was

leader in Russia

social networking in Russia, the number of monthly users in Vkontakte is estimated at 100 million worldwide including 72 million Russians, just over half of the population

in recent years the social network had already experienced strong growth and sparked appetites. In 2014, the FSB had asked its founder Pavel Durov to transmit user data. After refusing, he had left the country. Pavel Durov which is also the founder of Telegram messaging since exile.

Sogaz, largest media player

The other teaching of this redemption is due to the second shareholder. Sogaz thus becomes the largest actor in the Russian media market. Its group includes several television channels and a daily life.

to read also: Legislative in Russia: Telegram deletes in turn an application of supporters of Navalny

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