Yandex raided for Treason in Kiev, Ukraine

Russian search engine Yandex’s Ukraine offices raided for ‘treason’  Sending data home to Putin, puffs president Poroshenko 30 May 2017   The   “Already under sanctions by the Ukrainian government, Russian search giant Yandex has been raided by the country’s security services. The raids, in capital Kiev and the southern city Odessa, were conducted under the treason articles of the country’s criminal code, according to Russian state newsagency TASS. Reuters says the basis of the complaint is that the company is collecting user data on Ukrainians and sending it back to Russia. The SBU has posted a statement saying the information sent to Russia was “for use in reconnaissance and acts of sabotage”.  The Register    Poroshenko requesting people cut off Yandex from access.

President of Ukraine Poroshenko, Translated from VK Social Media:

Hybrid warfare requires adequate responses to the challenges. Therefore, in order to influence the game and my team has used counter-top in some Russian social networks.

But the massive Russian cyber attacks around the world, in particular – the recent intervention in the election campaign in France, suggest that it is time to do things differently and more strongly.

Ukrainian ISPs should stop providing access to “facebook”, “Classmates”, “Yandex” and other Russian services. All official pages of the President in these services will be closed. I urge all fellow citizens to immediately leave from Russian servers for security reasons.”-President Poroshenko

Ukraine’s Security Service Searches Yandex Offices In ‘Treason’ Probe  By Christopher Miller. “The May 29 searches came less than two weeks after President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree banning Yandex and several other Russian sites, including the popular social networks VK — formerly VKontakte — and Odnoklassniki.

“Law enforcement agents found that the management of the company illegally collected, accumulated, and passed on the personal data of Ukrainian citizens,” the SBU said in a statement on its website. The data included information about users’ “occupation, lifestyle, location, residence, work, leisure, sources and amounts of income, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and accounts in social networks. “The information was transmitted to [Russian] security services for planning, organizing, and conducting reconnaissance, sabotage, and information-subversion operations in the country at the expense of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability,” the statement said.”

Trump, Putin and the mob. Part 8: Yandex, Tiger Global Management & the connection to Donald Trump byJay McKenzie June 24, 2018

“Knowing that Yandex was founded in Russia and remains based in Moscow, it was somewhat peculiar to find that one of the initial investors in Yandex wasn’t Russian. He was an American named Chase Coleman III, who runs a hedge fund known as Tiger Global Management. This information can’t be found on Coleman’s Wikipedia page, but as of 2011, Tiger Global was the largest shareholder of Yandex, with nearly a $2 billion investment in the company.

In particular, it’s worth focusing again on Yuri Milner. In 2005, Milner founded Digital Sky Technologies (DST, which became Group in 2010). By 2006, Milner had rejected Yahoo’s offer to buy a stake in the company. Instead, he brought in a different set of investors, among them Renaissance Capital with a 5% stake, and Tiger Global Management initially bought a 12% stake in DST.

In 2008, Milner’s DST became the majority shareholder of in preparation for’s IPO, in part by purchasing a 15% stake in the company from Tiger Global Management, though Tiger Global retained a 13.4% stake after the sale.

Since the company was founded in April 2001, Tiger Global has been the lead investor 125 times out of the company’s 238 total investments.

Remember, in addition to being business associates with Mark Zuckerberg, Milner was an early investor in Facebook and Twitter. It was recently revealed that Milner and his business partner, Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, were investing Kremlin money in Facebook and Twitter through DST. We also know that Milner was an investor in Cadre, a New York real estate technology company co-founded by Jared and Joshua Kushner.

Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global Management was also an early investor in Facebook. In addition to Facebook, Milner and Coleman’s companies have both invested in Spotify,, Zynga, Flipkart, OlaCabs, Airbnb, 17Zuoye.Com, NuBank and Grofers. In late 2017, Milner’s private investment company Apoletto Managers invested alongside Tiger Global in a “payments gateway provider for online merchants” based in India called Razorpay.

Vkontakte, which is Russia’s equivalent of Facebook, is 100% owned by Group. When Yuri Milner resigned as CEO, he was replaced by his protégé and company co-founder, Dmitry Grishin. In addition to sanctions against their companies, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko blocked access to these sites for three years.

Kushner met with the head of the Vnesheconombank or VEB, and Prince met with the head of the RDIF, a former subsidiary of VEB. I bring this up because another initial investor to Yandex was Baring Vostok Capital Partners. In 2012, a $100 million investment in Karo Film, a Russian cinema chain, was led by Baring Vostok alongside the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). At the time, the RDIF was a fully owned subsidiary of Putin’s personal piggy bank, VEB.

Baring Vostok itself was founded in 1994 by an American named Michael Calvey. Since 1997, a Russian man named Vadim Bakatin has been an adviser to Calvey’s private equity firm. Who is Vadim Bakatin? He is, like Putin, another “former” KGB man.

In February 2009, Alfa Bank and became partners in a joint program they called ‘Money: From A to Ya’. According to the press release at the time, Yandex.Money users with an account at Alfa-Bank can now instantly transfer funds from their account to the Yandex.Money e-wallet and back. Neither user’s personal information, nor account details are transmitted over the internet.

When Russian spies met with members of Donald Trump’s campaign on June 9, 2016, in Trump Tower, there were three confirmed Trump officials present. They were Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort. One of the Russian spies, an “ex”-GRU man named Rinat Akhmetshin, admits to being a longtime associate of Paul Manafort. Also, the same week this meeting in Trump Tower occurred, Yandex quietly updated its search engine optimization algorithm. When Paul Manafort was forced to resign as campaign chairman in August, who succeeded him and became campaign CEO? The former head of Breitbart, Steve Bannon.” Read More

Russian search-engine Yandex passed information to FSB May 3, 2011 “Yandex’s online payment service gave the FSB personal information about users who donated money to an anti-corruption website launched by the Russian blogger Alexey Navalny.”

Exclusive: Western intelligence hacked ‘Russia’s Google’ Yandex to spy on accounts – sources Reuters June 27, 2019 Christopher Bing, Jack Stubbs and Joseph Menn

Data protection agency investigates gov’t sending personal data of Hungarian citizens to Russia 444 2017. április 17 ”

“As the questionnaires arrive the National Assembly of Hungary is debating controversial NGO bill that many have suggested bears a strong resemblance to similar legislation in Russia and Israel. The bill would require civil society organizations to register themselves as being “foreign-funded” if they receive more than 24 thousand USD from abroad annually. The government also launched an official National Consultation website on April 8th, 2017.

Visitors to the website must provide their full name, age, and email address before they can start answering questions about NGOs, migration, and the EU’s interference in Hungary’s domestic affairs. There’s a link at the bottom of the website that takes users to the privacy and data protection policy page. In the last paragraph of the policy page, the government explicitly promises users that

„personal data provided by users will not be made public, will not be transferred to any third party, and will not be sent abroad.”

This short and straightforward sentence is commonplace in the privacy and data protection policy sections of the Hungarian internet. In this case, however, the statement is completely false: all private user data from the Hungarian government’s National Consultation website were forwarded to servers in Russia

But there is another relatively large company in this industry, Yandex, which is often referred to as the Google of Russia due to its search engine and other services they provide. Yandex also has a web tracking software called “Yandex Metrika”, but this service is rarely used outside of the Post-Soviet states. According to Viktor Tarnavsky, a representative of Yandex’s, a thousand Hungarian websites use Yandex Metrika as their tracking solution, a miniscule number in the Hungarian market.

Yandex Metrika gives website owners the option to track every keystroke of their visitors, recording, for example, what users type into fields on their page.”…Webvisor ” will record sensitive data in any field on the site not specifically marked as “protected” by the site’s owners…The Hungarian government, it turns out, decided to use Yandex’s tracking code on the National Consultation office website. It did so with the “webvisor””

Hungary blamed it on its website builder, Trendency Online Zrt.- Report of the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information on the use of Yandex.Metrica analytical service applied on the website of the National Consultation

What’s the Deal With Breitbart News and Yandex? Israel? Nothing? Patrick on Medium September 9, 2017 “The Yandex meta tag was added to the Breitbart News website between March 30th and March 31st, 2016, at the height of Republican nomination campaigns. Though it is unclear why it was added at this time, Daily Mail added the Yandex verification code to their DNS record no later than August, 2014. Though it is unclear why it was added at this time, Daily Mail added the Yandex verification code to their DNS record no later than August, 2014. Still curious, I wondered what other connection Breitbart and Daily Mail might have that were uncommon for major western media websites and it didn’t take long to find one: Taboola, an Israeli advertising company based in New York and R&D in Tel Aviv.

Missing from Taboola’s featured list of partners is Breitbart News, which is striking considering Breitbart’s role in its billion dollar valuation. Taboola was founded by Adam Singolda, a seven year IDF veteran officer in the Israeli National Security Agency. In August of 2016, Taboola acquired ConvertMedia for $100M and with it its co-founder and now Taboola’s VP of video, Yoav Naveh — a six year veteran captain in the technological unit of the Israeli Intelligence Corp, the military intelligence division of the Israeli Defense Force. Taboola’s VP of Finance, Hagai Gold, is a former finance manager for the RSA Security division of EMC. Controversy surrounding RSA Security exploded in 2013 from the revelation that the NSA paid $10 million to install a backdoor in RSA encryption.

Adam Singolda has defended doing business with Breitbart News publically, but would not comment specifically on Breitbart’s content. Incidentally similar to Breitbart News, the Daily Mail and its privately held ownership also have a checkered history, from supporting fascism during World War II to now supporting far right political activism.”