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Who is the Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov?

The Russian Alisher Usmanov, born 9 September 1953, is the owner of the world’s largest superyacht, Dilbar, estimated to be worth up to a billion. Usmanov’s net worth is said to be just under $18B. Of course, he has excellent connections to Putin and the Russian establishment.

Usmanov has invested heavily in tech firms in Russia and abroad for decades while keeping close connections to the Russian political elite. Usmanov is the largest investor of Digital Sky Technologies and holds shares in several international technology companies. He teamed up with the Russian investor Yuri Milner. Between 2009 and 2011, Milner managed a series of investments in Twitter and Facebook, allegedly with Russian state money organized by Usmanov. They sold their stakes shortly after Facebook’s initial public offering in 2012 and Twitter’s in 2013, ICIJ reports.

A spokesman for Usmanov, Rollo Head, said Usmanov “has been a highly successful investor in Russian and international assets utilizing a combination of his own and borrowed funds.

Usmanov is Muslim and is married to Irina Viner, a rhythmic gymnastics coach, who is considered to be close to Putin. He currently dedicates most of his time to promoting sport and charity. “For a Muslim, 63 is the age that the Prophet Muhammad lived to. Beyond this age, I don’t want to deal with self-interest. Today, in principle, I feel that I am no longer a businessperson. I now feel more like a public person who is engaged in charity work, which fascinates me. And since this requires a lot of money, I will maintain my position as a shareholder in businesses,” he said.

Usmanov has massive real estate investments in the UK. He owns the Grade I listed Tudor mansion Sutton Place set in 120 hectares (300 acres) in Surrey, which he bought for £10 million in 2004. In 2008, Usmanov bought Beechwood House, a Grade II listed Regency property in 4.5 ha (11 acres) of grounds in the London suburb of Highgate from the Qatari sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani for £48 million.

Usmanov has avoided major rounds of sanctions on wealthy Russians.

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