Russian Oligarch Brags That He Just Bought Forbes Media Group

I’d noticed that, in the past several months, Forbes was making a big push with Fox-like coverage all over the internet. Now I know why. Via the Washington Post:

When Magomed Musaev, a Kremlin-connected tycoon, gathered friends in New York to celebrate his 60th birthday, he was joined at the head table by top executives from the Forbes Media Group. According to people who attended the June event, the revelers also included American tech founder Austin Russell, 28, who had recently announced that he was leading an $800 million deal to buy the storied media business.

Days before the party, however, Musaev had told associates that he was the Forbes buyer and had sealed the deal of a lifetime, according to five audio recordings and one video recording obtained by The Washington Post in which he discussed the deal.

“I just bought global Forbes,” Musaev told one of his associates, according to the material, referring to the Forbes Media Group, which includes the U.S. edition of the magazine. “You understand when you have in your hands the key to the most authoritative global brand, this key will give me access to anyone.”

And lordy, there are tapes!

Musaev repeated the claim again and again, according to the tapes. In one of the recordings, the videotape reviewed by The Post, he called Russell “the face” of the deal and insisted his own involvement be kept quiet. “I am doing it more subtly,” he said, according to the recording. “You understand,” he said at one point, “I am not working with a sledgehammer, nor with a scalpel, but with a laser.”

Which all seems to lead back to this.

Musaev was already the owner of the Russian edition of Forbes. Wikipedia says this:

According to political expert Eduard Urazaev, Magomed Musaev’s decision to buy the Russian edition of the Forbes magazine was driven by political rather than business interests as leverage against alleged law enforcement inquests into his father-in-law Ramazan Abdulatipov.

A former senior intelligence official told the Treasury department they should block the sale on national security grounds.

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