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02 December 2021 The management of the insurance company Sogaz, of which Gazprom is the largest shareholder, has approved the decision to buy a 45% stake in MF Technologies, which controls 57.3% of the votes in the holding company VK (formerly Mail.ru Group ). The majority stake was in the USM company headed by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, an oligarch very close to the Kremlin. 



The cost of the operation was not disclosed. Former owner Usmanov said he leaves VK at the peak of traffic and audience indices, but also at the highest of financial indicators. 



At the end of November, Sberbank sold a 36% stake in MF Technologies JSC to Gazprombank. As noted by Kommersant, Gazprom's associated structures now hold an absolute majority of VK Group shares with voting rights. 



VK owns the largest Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, as well as the Samokat delivery service and a share of the Delivery Club, Mail.ru mail and other services.



Sogaz is one of the largest insurance companies in Russia. The largest stake in the company - 32.3% - belongs to LLC Aquila, of which half is owned by the main shareholder of the Rossiya Bank Yuri Kovalchuk (according to some sources, a personal friend and personal banker of Vladimir Putin) and his family. Another 21.2% of Sogaz belongs to Gazprom. 



According to some analysts, Gazprom's monopolization of social media is linked to the local elections in Russia scheduled for 2022, and the Russian presidential elections scheduled for 2024.

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