“With Facebook, people say I took money from the Kremlin,” he declares. “But I invested my own money.”
Usmanov’s point is broader than the tenfold return he made from his 2009 investment in the social-networking site. The Uzbek-born tycoon, who is worth an estimated $18 billion, said he had been sure that investing in a social network of 1 billion people would generate “big money”.
“Nobody believed in it, and in Russia at the very least, a lot of people said I was mad,” Usmanov told Reuters in a rare interview.