Home / News / Billionaire Yuri Milner, who left Russia over Crimea annexation, renounces citizenship

Israeli-Russian Billionaire investor Yuri Milner has renounced his Russian citizenship, he informed on Tuesday. Yuri had earlier left the country along with his family after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

Yuri Milner's company DST Global had made its fortune by betting big on Chinese tech companies such as e-commerce platforms Alibaba and JD.com

Announcing the update on Twitter, he wrote, “My family and I left Russia for good in 2014, after the Russian annexation of Crimea. And this summer, we officially completed the process of renouncing our Russian citizenship."

As per a factsheet released on DST Global's website, Milner has been an Israeli national since 1999 and has not visited Russia since 2014 when Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea.

It adds that 97 percent of his wealth was made outside Russia and that Milner has not raised capital from Russian investors since 2011 and has not backed any Russian startup. 

The statement adds, "Yuri has never met Vladimir Putin, either individually or in a group."

DST Global was founded by Milner in 2009 as a technology investment company and focuses on internet investments globally. It has invested in more than 80 countries globally and has offices in Silicon Valley, New York, London, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Milner, the wealthiest man with Russian citizenship in Silicon Valley has an estimated wealth of $3.5 billion, as per Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

Born in Moscow, his ties with Russia have drawn tension in Silicon Valley. He has especially been criticized for taking money from Russian state-run banks and other Russian backers in 2011.

Talking to Bloomberg Businessweek in March this year, Milner said, “I cannot change the fact I was born in Russia. I cannot change the fact we had some Russian funds."

Milner owns a house in Los Altos, California since 2011 for $100 million. He also holds an O-1 visa which is reserved for people of “extraordinary ability" and is usually popular with enterpreneurs.

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