by Collin McMahon
Leading Russian political Telegram channel Nezygar reports that Russian-based Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg used US media companies to try and sabotage the Trump campaign beginning in 2016. Vekselberg is one of the wealthiest men in Russia, worth over $10 billion, and has donated to the Clinton Foundation since Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State.
Nezygar reports that Vekselberg bought a share in Odyssey Media, a fast-growing U.S. blog platform, in April 2016. At that time, Odyssey had over 30 million visitors a month, especially among students and millennials, many opposed to candidate Trump. “Odyssey is a bit like a college paper on steroids. The startup has a stable of over 10,000 writers, aged 18-28, who produce around one piece a week. Odyssey then relies on the social networks of the individual writers to push out the content to the masses,” Business Insider wrote in 2016.
After Trump’s nomination, Odyssey Media Group hired dozens of new employees, aiming to expand from 80 to 400 markets by 2016 — mostly on university campuses which were to become hotbeds of the anti-Trump “Resistance” later. Nezygar claims a large number of these authors were actually ‘sock puppets’ —fake accounts with different identities controlled by one person. Today, most of these Odyssey accounts are suspended or inactive.