The Russians bought their equivalent Google. “This is exactly what we wanted to achieve”

Luc Williams

This transaction means Russian business Yandex is currently a fully Russian entity. The company has previously been accused of hiding information about the war in Ukraine from the Russian public. Moscow welcomed the latest agreement, which the company said was “the result of a long planning and negotiation period that lasted over 18 months.”

“Yandex is more than a company”

– This is exactly what we wanted to achieve a few years ago, when Yandex was threatened with takeover by Western IT giants. Yandex it is more than a company, it is an asset of the entire Russian society, commented on the transaction Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the information policy commission of the Russian Duma.

Founded in period internet boom company in the late 1990s Yandex developed its own companies dealing with search engines, maps and advertising. Other services include taxi ordering and food delivery.

However, according to experts, its value of $5.2 billion is much lower than the market value of Yandex, which was worth about $30 billion in 2021. Although it is referred to as “Russian Google”, Yandex is not affiliated with the American search engine giant or its parent company Alphabet. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine many foreign-owned companies left the country, often selling assets on unfavorable terms. President of Russia Vladimir Putin he also ordered the takeover of others, including assets belonging to the Western brands Danone and Carlsberg.

Yandex promotes the Russian narrative?

Co-founder of Yandex, Arkady Volozh, is one of the few top businessmen with ties to Russia who has publicly spoken out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Volozh will leave the company in 2022. Sanctions were also imposed on him by the European Union, which in 2022 stated that Yandex “is responsible for promoting Russian state media and their narratives in search results and for downgrading and removing content critical of the Kremlin, such as content related to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Volozh turned to Court of Justice of the European Union to lift sanctions because he claims he has never been close to the Russian president Vladimir Putin. To meet Russian government content requests, Yandex at the end of 2022, it sold part of its online resources to state-controlled competitor VK. Although Yandex emphasizes its independence from the Russian authorities, in 2022, the British BBC television showed that its search results failed to find information about Russian atrocities in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.


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