Uber secretly hired a political operative linked to Russian oligarchs in an attempt to buy influence in the country, despite concerns that paying the lobbyist risked bribes being paid to “grease the skids”.
The deal was part of a concerted effort by the Silicon Valley company to court several billionaires as well as top state officials allegedly aligned with Vladimir Putin in an attempt to secure its place in the Russian market.
Uber’s previously unknown lobbying campaign in Russia is laid bare in the Uber files, a leak of more than 124,000 documents to the Guardian. They reveal how in 2015-16 Uber tried to secure influence at the highest levels of the Russian state by approaching oligarchs said to have close ties to the Kremlin and encouraging them to invest in the company.
This article was originally posted on theguardian.com