The Russians

The “Russian” Connections

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The Curious World Of Donald Trump’s Private Russian Connections The American Interest


Sergey Kislyak

Russian Ambassador to the U.S., central to initial Russian investigations, he’s the man about Washington. He has his own Page Here. He had undisclosed meetings with Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and Jared Kushner. Invited to the Oval Office with Sergey Lavrov the day after FBI Director James Comey was fired, which Trump tried to hide by forbidding US press and photographers, but Moscow tweeted photographic evidence May 10, 2017.


Oleg Deripaska

“Report: Russian Billionaire Linked To Manafort Seeks Immunity To Testify Oleg Deripaska, who had Trump’s former campaign manager on a $10 million annual contract, is apparently ready to sing. ” Huff Post   Oleg “Deripaska and Manafort worked together on an offshore fund in 2007 that quickly folded. But Deripaska also provided a $10 million annual contract to Manafort beginning in 2006 to promote Russian interests abroad, The Associated Press reported in March.  During the time of the contract, Manafort was working as a campaign consultant to candidates in the Ukraine backed by the Kremlin. Deripaska, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, traveled several times to the U.S. from 2011 to 2014 on a diplomatic passport, according to the Times. He was unable to obtain regular business visas for travel to the U.S. because of suspicions by American officials that he was linked to the Russian mob — which Deripaska has denied.”    “Paul Manafort, who managed an investment fund for a Russian aluminum magnate with close ties to Putin. Manafort resigned from the campaign days after his name was found in a ledger designating funds to be paid out from the party of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in a pro-European street revolution in 2014…Yevgen Kopachko, a pollster who worked with Yanukovych on parliamentary and presidential campaigns, said that Manafort had a “phenomenal ability to work with sociological information. In another business venture, Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate, accused Manafort in a court in the Cayman Islands of taking nearly $19 million intended for investments, then not accounting for the money, returning it or responding to numerous inquiries about exactly how the money was used. In his legal filing, Deripaska said he expected that the money would be used to make acquisitions in Russia, Ukraine and other countries in eastern and southern Europe. Instead, the petition argues, the partnership made only one purchase: buying a stake in Ukrainian cable television and Internet ventures. Deripaska, squeezed by the 2008 credit crunch, asked for the partnership to be liquidated and his money returned, according to Deripaska’s petition. But the filing said it was unclear who was controlling the Ukrainian cable TV and Internet assets and what happened to the money Deripaska initially provided.” Washington Post    Homepage: http://www.deripaska.com/     An Open Letter From Oleg In Response to Implied Allegations


Natalia Veselnitskaya, Trump Tower June 9, 2016, Prevazon Atty. against MAGNITSKY ACT

Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian Connection Has Ties to Former Kremlin Spies The lawyer  [Natalia Veselnitskaya] who offered up Hillary dirt to the Trump campaign totally swears she doesn’t work for the Russian government. Her client list suggests otherwise.   July 11, 2017 updated July 12, 2017   The Daily Beast

June 9, 2016, Meeting with Trump Campaign and Veselnitskaya, arranged by email between Rob Goldstone, manager of Emin Agalarov on June 3, 2016, who was supposed to present damaging information on Clinton, according to Trump, Jr.’s statement. Trump Jr. Suggested a phone call with Emin on June 7. “Trump Jr. also said he invited Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort to attend the meeting, “but told them nothing of the substance.” “After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Trump Jr. said in the statement.” CNN

“Natalia Veselnitskaya’s mission is to destroy the Magnitsky Acta package of U.S. sanctions that targets corrupt Russian officials and their comrades. She is alleged to have lured senior members of the Trump family into the meeting with a promise of compromising information about Hillary Clinton.” The Daily Beast

She tried to turn a Swiss investigator in Dec. 2016.


Denis Katsyv

The 42-year-old Veselnitskaya is also lawyer to Denis Katsyv, who has paid out millions of dollars in the wake of money-laundering cases brought by authorities in the U.S. and Israel, while assets linked to him have been frozen in the Netherlands and Switzerland, as previously reported by The Daily Beast.

The U.S. Department of Justice seized property owned by Denis Katsyv in Manhattan and the Netherlands valued at $15 million, alleging that money stolen in the fraud uncovered by Magnitsky had been funneled into Katsyv’s Prevezon company, which is registered in Cyprus.

The case brought by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was unexpectedly settled out of court on the eve of the trial in May, two months after Bharara was fired by Trump.

The agreement saw Prevezon pay the U.S. government $5.9 million, but the company did not accept responsibility for any wrongdoing.” The Daily Beast


Anatoli Samochornov, Trump Tower June 9, 2016

The Daily Caller broke news of another attendee on June 9, 2016, Trump Tower: “Anatoli Samochornov, a Russia-born professional translator who worked as a part-time contractor for the State Department, worked with Veselnitskaya last year on an effort to roll back the Magnitsky Act, a law passed in 2012 which allows for sanctions against Russians accused of human rights abuses. [Update: Samochornov confirmed to other news outlets after this article was published that attended the Trump Tower meeting as Veselnitskaya’s translator.]  The Associated Press confirmed after NBC’s report that the Russian-American lobbyist is Rinat Akhmetshin.”


Rinat Akhmetshin, Trump Tower June 9, 2016

 

American-Russian lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin,another attendee on June 9, 2016, Trump Tower: “18-year-old draftee for two years in a unit of the Soviet military that had responsibility for law enforcement issues as well as some counterintelligence matters .” was present at the June 9, 2016, meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rob Goldstone and Natalia Veselnitskaya. Washington Post


Aras & Emin Agalarov

“Trump’s second Russian connection: Emin Agalarov, 37, the aspiring pop star. He also works with his billionaire father, Aras, 61, developing real estate projects. Their relationship with Trump began in 2013 when they paid the Trump Organization $7 million to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow. (In addition to the contestants, Emin also performed.) The Moscow pageant went well enough for the Agalarovs to put together another plan with Trump–to build a Trump Tower in Russia. Before they could develop the plans very much, Trump announced his candidacy for president, and they put the project on hold. “If he hadn’t run for president, we would probably be in the construction phase today,” Emin says.” Forbes    Emin was managed by Rob Goldstone. “In June 2016, Goldstone orchestrated a meeting between Donald Jr., President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Trump’s then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, The New York Times reported Monday. Goldstone emailed Trump Jr., promising “information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.” The info was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump—helped along by Aras and Emin,” Goldstone wrote.”  The Daily Beast   July 11, 2017   “The plan [to make Emin a music star] was hatched in 2013, when the elder Agalarov paid Trump handsomely to bring his Miss Universe contestants to Moscow, where they were required to swoon in a music video intended to launch Emin’s singing career.

The oligarch even persuaded Trump himself to appear in the video, and arranged for Emin to perform during the pageant’s worldwide broadcast, reportedly dismaying NBC executives.

That capped an extremely high-profile two weeks for Aras Agalarov, who had received the Order of Honor of the Russian Federation from President Vladimir Putin just 10 days before the pageant.”  The Intercept


Alex Oronov

Alex Oronov, a Ukrainian billionaire businessman who was connected by marriage to Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and associate, died unexpectedly on March 2, 2017. Oronov’s daughter was married to Cohen’s brother. Oronov reportedly set up a January 2017 meeting between Cohen and Russian officials to discuss a possible “peace plan” between Russia and Ukraine that would have formalized Putin’s control over Crimea. The New York Times reported that this peace proposal was hand-delivered to Michael Flynn prior to his forced resignation. “The “peace plan” meeting brought together Mr Artemenko, Mr Cohen and Felix Sater, an American-Russian long-time business associate of Mr Trump who is reported to have ties to the Russian mafia.” Independent


Andrii V. Artemenko

Met Michael Cohen and Felix Sater at the Loews Hotel, NYC Late January 2017 for a Peace Plan

“But the proposal contains more than just a peace plan. Andrii V. Artemenko, the Ukrainian lawmaker, who sees himself as a Trump-style leader of a future Ukraine, claims to have evidence — “names of companies, wire transfers” — showing corruption by the Ukrainian president, Petro O. Poroshenko, that could help oust him. And Mr. Artemenko said he had received encouragement for his plans from top aides to Mr. Putin.” NY Times


Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister


Dmitry Rybolovlev, Trump Associate

The “King of Fertilizer”    MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show  Rybolovlev bought a Palm Beach, FL residence from Trump for $100 million in 2008, the most expensive home sale at the time and 2.5 times what Trump paid for it a few years earlier. His nearly $100 million private airplane is owned through a British Virgin Islands holding company, and from flight records it is determined that he was in Las Vegas on the same day Trump was holding a rally there, October 30, 2016.

While Trump rallied in nearby Concord, NC, on November 3, Rybolovlev’s airplane flew from New York to Concord, arriving at 9:30 am, and a few hours later flew from Concord to Charlotte, NC, where it was on the tarmac with Trump’s airplane.

February 11, 2017, while Trump entertained the Prime Minister of Japan at Mar-a-Lago which Maddow referred to as a “fake Situation Room out on the patio” during the N. Korean missile launch, Rybolovlev flew from Marseille, France, to Miami, arrived that Friday evening. To shield wealth from his wife during a divorce in roughly 2008, Rybolovlev bought a $150 mil private Greek island, a French soccer team, the most expensive NY apartment at the time. He is a major shareholder of the Cyprus Bank whose Vice Chairman, Wilbur Ross, is our current Commerce Secretary. March 10, 2017, His yacht was docked in the same marina as Robert Mercer‘s Sea Owl in the British Virgin Islands, where the holding company is based that owns his airplane.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow


Sergey Gorkov, VEB Bank

Sergey Gorkov
Sergey Nikolaevich Gorkov

Kushner met at least once in December with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and he also met last year with a Russian banker, Sergey Gorkov. Gorkov is chairman of VneshEconomBank (VEB), a Russian government-owned institution that has been under U.S. sanctions since July 2014. Gorkov studied at the training school for the FSB, one of Russia’s intelligence services.” NBC News     Rachel Maddow Reported on May 25, 2017: Putin Chaired the Board of Supervisors and is known to personally direct the activities of VEB, as he did when VEB financed the most expensive Olympics construction ever. VEB is under sanctions because of its links to and facilitation of activities for  the Russian government. …..  This year an undeclared Russian spy was released from federal prison in Ohio for serving while he was working as a top executive at VEB bank in New York City. The charging documents state he was trying to recruit Americans as agents for the Russian government including former Foreign Policy and Trump campaign Adviser Carter Page. Putin installed Gorkov as the head of VEB by Executive Order  February 26, 2016: “Sergei Gorkov, an energetic 47-year-old who was deputy chairman of the commercial bank Sberbank, has been trusted with the job of house-cleaning at the debt-ridden VEB. Gorkov has had a varied career. He has a law degree, joined the security services, worked in Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s oil firm Yukos, but then redeemed that black mark on his career by doing valiant service at Sberbank. “This is not the kind of appointment that President Vladimir Putin would have made in his earlier years. Before, Putin’s strategy was one of expansion. The goal was to dislodge members of Boris Yeltsin’s elite, bring governors to heel, win control over major companies, build state corporations, and pump them up with assets and resources. The main qualification for office was loyalty. That was controversial as professionalism was regarded as a lower priority than being “one of us.” Carnegie Moscow Center


Alexander Shnaider, VEB $ to Trump Toronto

Russian State-Run Bank Financed Deal Involving Trump Hotel Partner Russian-Canadian developer put money into Toronto project after receiving hundreds of millions from deal involving VEB  Wall St. Journal  May 17, 2017  Alexander Shnaider, a Russian-Canadian developer who built the 65-story Trump International Hotel and Tower [Toronto], put money into the project after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from a separate deal involving VEB” after financial difficulties.


Alisher Usmanov

Gazprom Invest Holdings  

Wikipedia “He is the General Director of Gazprom Invest Holdings, the investment holding subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom.[48]

Usmanov is a close personal friend of Roman Abramovich, who owns Chelsea Football Club (Usmanov has a 30% stake in Arsenal Football club), and the two shared the same circle of friends in Russia (Usmanov even employed Abramovich’s first wife Olga to work for his company).[29] Usmanov has a 60% economic interest and 100% voting rights in USM Holdings, a global conglomerate with main investments in metals and mining industry, telecommunications, technology, and media.[33] Through USM Holdings and as an individual investor, Usmanov owns diverse interests including stakes in iron ore and steel, media and internet companies. He is the co-owner of Metalloinvest, which he founded along with business partner Vasiliy Anisimov in order to manage his acquisitions in the metal industry.[34] In November 2015 USM invested $100 million USD in competitive video game esports team Virtus Pro.[40] In May 2009, Digital Sky Technologies (which later changed its name to “Mail.ru Group”),[41] a company in which he owns a 17.9-percent stake,[42] paid $200 million for a 1.96-percent stake in social networking website Facebook.[43] Mail.ru made notable investments in other international technology companies, including TwitterGrouponZyngaAirBnBZocDocAlibaba and 360buy.[44] Consistent with its investment goals, in 2013 Mail.ru sold its share of Facebook for $525 million as well as its share of Groupon and Zynga.[45]The Alibaba investment was said by Usmanov to be up 500% in late 2014. The Facebook investment Usmanov implied he had sold, saying “I admire Facebook, but I said ‘arrivederci’ Facebook”. At the same time, he said he had made an investment in “Chinese low-cost smartphone maker Xiaomi“, saying it is a “future technology giant”, and that he is looking to invest in India, particularly the online trade sector.[46]Usmanov is a co-owner of Russia’s second-largest mobile telephone operator, MegaFon. The carrier’s subscriber based has grown significantly in the past decade, exceeding 65 million members.” Wikipedia


Roman Abramovich

“Abramovich is the primary owner of the private investment company Millhouse LLC, and is best known outside Russia as the owner of Chelsea Football Club, a Premier League football club. According to Forbes 2016 billionaire list, Abramovich’s net worth was US$7.6 billion,[3] making him the 13th-richest person in Russia, and the 151st-richest person in the world.n 2015, Abramovich invested and led a $30 million round of funding in Israeli music sharing start-up Music Messenger founded by OD Kobo.[41][42][3]”

He worked his way up, selling rubber ducks from his apartment, then started trading in financial markets. “In 1995, Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky, an associate of President Boris Yeltsin, acquired the controlling interest in the large oil company Sibneft. The deal was within the controversial loans-for-shares program and each partner paid US$100 million for half of the company, above the stake’s stock market value of US$150 million at the time, and rapidly turned it up into billions…Abramovich was the first person to originally recommend to Yeltsin that Vladimir Putin be his successor as the Russian president.[44]:135 When Putin formed his first cabinet as Prime Minister in 1999, Abramovich interviewed each of the candidates for cabinet positions before they were approved.[27]:102 Subsequently, Abramovich would remain one of Putin’s closest confidants. In 2007 Putin consulted in meetings with Abramovich on the question of who should be his successor as president; Medvedev was personally recommended by Abramovich.[44]:135, 271

Chris Hutchins, a biographer of Putin, describes the relationship between the Russian president and Abramovich as like that between a father and a favorite son. Abramovich himself says that when he addresses Putin he uses the Russian language’s formal “Вы” (like Spanish “usted”, German “Sie”, Italian “lei” or French “vous”), as opposed to the informal “ты” (Spanish “tú”, German “du”, Italian “tu” or French “tu”). Abramovich says that the reason is because ‘he is more senior than me’.[45]Within the Kremlin, Abramovich is referred to as “Mr A”.[40]” Wikipedia

Lithuanian and Jewish, Abramovich is Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (which is allied with Putin’s administration), a trustee of the Moscow Jewish Museum[9] and donates money to the Chabad movement.[10]  “The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FCJR) is a Russian religious organization, unifying communities of Orthodox Judaism, mostly of Chabad Hassidicmovement. It was registered by Ministry of Justice of Russia in 1999.” Wikipedia

On February 14, 2013, his yacht, “The Eclipse” docked in Manhattan for Dasha to give birth. CNBC   He publicly separated from wife of 10 years, Dasha Zhukova around August 7, 2017. “Meanwhile, the 36-year-old was seen enjoying herself with wealthy New York socialites and was spotted on a quiet dinner with the boyfriend of supermodel Karlie Kloss – Joshua Kushner. She spent her birthday in New York with her two children and was photographed not wearing her wedding ring on June 8.  It is not clear at this stage if they have a prenuptial agreement. The daughter of Russian oil magnate Alexander Zhukov, she is extremely wealthy in her own right.” Daily Mail


Mikhael Kalugin

Mikhael Kalugin identified as the Steele Dossier Russian spy under surveillance at the US Embassy, and the key player in the election scheme, suddenly pulled back to Moscow.”4/3/17 Keith Olberman

 


Vitaly Churkin

Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to the UN, died of “cardiac arrest” on February 20, 2017. “For a decade, it was Churkin who raised his arm to veto numerous resolutions ranging from the Syrian crisis to the Malaysia Airlines crash over eastern Ukraine. He stood firm in supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime against Western attacks. And he cited US policy in Libya as a symbol of failure by Western countries who favored regime change…”Devastated by passing of UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin,” [Former US Ambassador Samantha] Power tweeted. “Diplomatic maestro & deeply caring man who did all he (could) to bridge US-RUS differences.” CNN      Analysis: What Vitaly Churkin’s death means for the United Nations


Sergei Ryabkov

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said in an interview with the Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with the Trump team.“Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Ryabkov said. “We have just begun to consider ways of building dialogue with the future Donald Trump administration and channels we will be using for those purposes,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying. Ryabkov provided no further details, and his remarks drew a swift denial from Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who said the campaign had “no contact with Russian officials” before Tuesday’s election.” Washington Post


Yuri Dubinin

1986:Donald Trump is seated next to Russian Ambassador Yuri Dubinin at a lunch organized by Leonard Lauder, the son of cosmetics scion Estée Lauder, who at the time is running her cosmetics business. “One thing led to another, and now I’m talking about building a large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin” in partnership with the Soviet government, Trump later writes in his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal. Also present at the event is Russian diplomat Vitaly Churkin, later the Russian ambassador to the United Nations. (Churkin died in February 2017 at 64.)” Mother Jones

 


Leonid Reshetnikov

Leonid Reshetnikov, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, RISS, run by Mikhail Fradkov as of January 2017 https://en.riss.ru/    RISS is Putin’s in-house foreign policy think tank, which drafted two proposals on how to sway the election in Trump’s favor in June 2016 and October 2016. Reuters


Giorgi Kvirikashvili

“Honored to welcome Georgia Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili to the @WhiteHouse today with @VP Mike Pence. “https://t.co/EAPvsrbrUOpic.twitter.com/FnKkuWLFDp— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017

 


Igor Divyekin

Internal Political Department of the PA (Presidential Administration)

Christopher Steele Dossier  “3. Speaking separately, also in July 2016, an official close to Presidential Administration Head, S. IVANOV, confided in a compatriot that a senior colleague in the Internal Political Department of the PA, DIVYEKIN (nfd)also had met secretly with PAGE on his recent visit. Their agenda had included DIVEYKIN raising a dossier of ‘kompromat’ the Kremlin possessed on Democratic presidential rival, Hillary CLINTON, and its possible release to the Republican’s campaign team.

However, the Kremlin official close to S. added that s/he believed DIVEYKIN also had hinted (or indicated more strongly) that the Russian leadership also had ‘kompromat’ on TRUMP which the latter should bear in mind in his dealings with them.  19 July 2016″

FBI has questioned Trump campaign adviser Carter Page at length in Russia probe Washington Post June 26, 2017


Sergei Ivanov

Head of US Presidential Administration (PA) within Russian government. In the Christopher Steele Dossier 

“Speaking in early August 2016, two well-placed and established Kremlin sources outlined the divisions and backlash in Moscow arising from the leaking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) e-mails and the wider operation being conducted in the US. Head of Presidential Administration, Sergei IVANOV, was angry at the recent turn of events.

He believed the Kremlin “team” involved, led by presidential spokesman Dmitriy PESKOV, had gone too far in interfering in foreign affairs with their “elephant in a china shop black PR”. IVANOV claimed always to have opposed the handling and exploitation of intelligence by this PR “team”.

Following the backlash against such foreign interference in US politics, IVANOV was advocating that the only sensible course of action now for the Russian leadership was to “sit tight and deny everything”.

2. Continuing on this theme the source close to IVANOV reported that PESKOV now was “scared shitless” that he would be scapegoated by PUTIN and the Kremlin and held responsible for the backlash against Russian political interference in the US election. IVANOV was determined to stop PESKOV playing an independent role in relation to the US going forward and the source fully expected the presidential spokesman now to lay low. position was not helped by a botched attempt by him also to interfere in the recent failed coup in Turkey from a government relations (GR) perspective (no further details).”


Dmitry Medvedev (DAM)

Christopher Steele Dossier  “3. The extent of disquiet and division within Moscow caused by the backlash against Russian interference in the US election was underlined by a second source, close to premier [Russian Prime Minister] Dmitriy MEDVEDEV (DAM). S/he said the Russian prime minister and his colleagues wanted to have good relations with the US, regardless of who was in power there, and not least so as to be able to travel there in future, either officially or privately. They were openly refusing to cover up for PESKOV and others involved in the operations or to support his counter-attack of allegations against the USG for its alleged hacking of the Russian government and state agencies.

4. According to the first source, close to IVANOV, there had been talk in the Kremlin of TRUMP being forced to withdraw from the presidential race altogether as a result of recent events, ostensibly on grounds of his state and unsuitability for high office. This might not be so bad for Russia in the circumstances but in the View of the source, it remained largely wishful thinking on the part of those in the regime opposed to PESKOV and his “botched” operations, at least for the time being.  5 August 2016″


Aleksej Gubarev

Wikipedia: “Aleksej Gubarev, chief of technology company XBT and a figure mentioned in the [CHRISTOPHER STEELE] dossier, sued BuzzFeed for defamation on February 3, 2017. The suit, filed in a Broward County, Florida court,[76] centers on allegations from the dossier that XBT had been “using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership”.[77] In the High Court of Justice, Steele’s lawyers said that their client did not intend for the memos to be released, and that one of the memos “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified”.[78]  [76]. Rosenberg, Eli (February 4, 2017). “Russian Executive Sues BuzzFeed Over Unverified Trump Dossier”. The New York Times.  [77.] Goldstein, David; Hall, Kevin G.; Gordon, Greg (February 3, 2017). “BuzzFeed sued over its publication of uncorroborated Trump dossier”. McClatchy DC.  [78.] Cohen, Marshall (May 2, 2017). “Spy behind Trump dossier says info was never meant for public eyes”. CNN. Retrieved May 3, 2017

Leonard Blavatnik

Founded Access Industries in 1986. Bought 20% of Tory Burch in 2004.

The rise of billionaire Len Blavatnik, one of Wall Street’s greatest dealmakers Business Insider   February 25, 2016

“In 2011, AI purchased Warner Music Group for $3.3 billion and acquired Atlantic, Warner Bros. Records, Rhino, and Warner Music Nashville. Blavatnik also picked up Parlophone, a British music label that manages the likes of Coldplay and Two Door Cinema Club, for $742 million. Blavatnik recently teamed up with Hollywood talent manager Sarah Stennett to launch First Access Entertainment. The company will focus on talent and brand development, representation of recording artists and songwriters, and rights exploitation. Blavatnik owns AI Film, the independent movie and production company that’s behind acclaimed film Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and “Rocketman,” the forthcoming Elton John biopic. During the Cannes Film Festival in France every year, Blavatnik hosts an exclusive luncheon aboard his yacht, The Odessa at Old Port, along with film partner and friend Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company. He’s also invested in emerging technology companies Spotify and Beats Electronics. Billboard recently named him one of the 10 most powerful people in music. He has various investments in personal and commercial real estate, too. His company has been partnered with hospitality outfit Faena Group since 2000 to transform Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Argentina, into one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in Argentina. In 2014, AI acquired the One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas for an undisclosed amount. The Blavatnik Family Foundation supports the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Royal Academy of Arts, and Colel Chabad, a 20,000-square-foot food bank and warehouse in Israel. In 2014, he made a donation of $20 million to Tel Aviv University to support scientific research.”Business Insider


Konstantin Sidorkov, VK

Russian social media executive sought to help Trump campaign in 2016, emails show

December 7, 2017  “While mainly used by Russian-speaking users, the site has also become known in Europe — and increasingly in the United States — as a platform embraced by white-nationalist groups, according to groups that track their activity. Far-right politicians in Germany and other countries have VK profiles, Albright said. The website also directed substantial amounts of traffic to ­ Breitbart News and Infowars, a popular conservative conspiracy site, during the 2016 campaign, he said.

The overture with VK was brokered by Rob Goldstone, a British music promoter who asked Trump Jr. last year to meet with a Russian lawyer who he said had compromising information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The executive at Vkontakte, or VK, Russia’s equivalent to Facebook, emailed Donald Trump Jr. and social media director Dan Scavino in January and again in November of last year, offering to help promote Trump’s campaign to its nearly 100 million users, according to people familiar with the messages.

“It will be the top news in Russia,” Konstantin Sidorkov, who serves as VK’s director of partnership marketing, wrote on Nov. 5, 2016.

While Scavino expressed interest in learning more at one point, it is unclear whether the campaign pursued the idea. An attorney for Trump Jr. said his client forwarded a pitch about the concept to Scavino early in the year and could not recall any further discussion about it.

Scavino, now the White House social media director, did not respond to requests for comment. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.

The emails, which were read to The Washington Post and confirmed by people with knowledge of their contents, show a new point of direct contact between an influential Russian and advisers to Trump during the 2016 race.

“Please feel free to send me whatever you have,” Scavino wrote to Goldstone on Jan. 19. “Thank you so much for looking out for Mr. Trump and his presidential campaign.”

A few days later, Sidorkov emailed Scavino, Trump Jr. and Donald Trump’s longtime assistant Rhona Graff.

“Nice to meet you and your team,” Sidorkov wrote, attaching information about VK and its social media reach.

Sidorkov joined VK as a partner relations manager in July 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He had apparently crossed paths with Trump at least once before, at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Sidorkov posted photographs from the ­after-party on his VK page, including one in which Trump posed with a thumbs up next to Olivia Culpo, the previous year’s winner, and musician Nick Jonas.

Sidorkov said he was 18 and working for a radio station during the event and had not met Trump personally but rather taken pictures while standing in a crowd.

Sidorkov — a young, jet-setting tech executive who documents his frequent travels on Instagram and other sites — posted a photograph this July posing next to Vladi­mir Putin. The Russian president had just participated in a Q-and-A session with schoolchildren and VK users.

“I’m following up on an email [from] a while back of something I had mentioned to Don and Paul Manafort during a meeting recently,” Goldstone wrote to Scavino on June 29. Goldstone wrote that his client, Emin Agalarov, and a “contact” at VK wanted to create a “Vote Trump 2016” promotion.

“I’m following up on an email [from] a while back of something I had mentioned to Don and Paul Manafort during a meeting recently,” Goldstone wrote to Scavino on June 29. Goldstone wrote that his client, Emin Agalarov, and a “contact” at VK wanted to create a “Vote Trump 2016” promotion.

“At the time, Paul had said he would welcome it, and so I had the VK folks mock up a basic sample page, which I am resending for your approval now,” Goldstone wrote. “It would merely require Mr. Trump to drop in a short message to Russian-American voters or a generic message, depending on your choice, and the page can be up and running very quickly.”

He indicated that he was copying Sidorkov, “a good friend,” on his note, “as he would oversee the promotion of the page.” Excerpts of the email were first reported by CNN.

Ike Kaveladze, a U.S.-based representative for the Agalarovs, attended the Trump Tower meeting but said the VK page idea was not discussed, according to his attorney Scott Balber.

“It absolutely did not come up,” he said. Balber, who also represents the Agalarovs, added that he had no reason to believe his clients “knew anything about this.”

The VK proposal was not mentioned in notes taken by Manafort during the meeting, which have been turned over to Congress, according to a person who has seen them. Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, declined to comment.” Washington Post