- Elon Musk was photographed at the World Cup final with a sanctioned Russian TV presenter.
- Nailya Asker-Zade has been sanctioned by the UK and Canada during the ongoing Ukraine war.
- Musk was also seen Sunday with Jared Kushner and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk was spotted at Qatar’s World Cup final on Sunday with a sanctioned and pro-Russian TV presenter.
Nailya Asker-Zade — who multiple Western governments have sanctioned — posted a selfie of her and Musk to Telegram just after Argentina beat France on penalty kicks at the stadium in Lusail City.
“Argentina beat France on penalties in the World Cup final. I agree with Elon Musk’s assessment of the match: ‘A duel in the desert. A better game could not have been wished for.’ I saw how he shared his emotions about what is happening on the field on his Twitter,” she wrote. “I also have a lot of bright emotions — I will tell you soon.”
Her comments were an apparent reference to an earlier tweet of Musk’s, where he published a video of the moment Argentina claimed victory.
A TikTok video that was posted on Sunday also showed the moment Musk poses for the photo with Asker-Zade.
Asker-Zade is a 35-year-old presenter at the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), who has been sanctioned by both the UK and Canada in the wake of the ongoing Ukraine war. According to the UK government, Asker-Zade is suspected to be in a relationship with Russian banking oligarch Andrei Kostin, who chairs the sanctioned VTB Bank.
“As such, she is associated with two entities (VGTRK and Kostin), both of which is or has been involved in obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia by carrying on business as a Government of Russia-affiliated entity,” the UK said in its reasoning for the sanctions.
In addition to Asker-Zade, Musk was also photographed at the game on Sunday with Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Musk, the new Twitter CEO, has had a rocky start to his tenure at the social media powerhouse. He’s suddenly announced changes to the social media company’s rules, unbanned right-wing influencers and conspiracy theorists, and suspended multiple high-profile critical journalists from the site.
On Sunday evening, Musk tweeted a yes-or-no poll asking users if he should step down from the head of Twitter.
When the poll closed Monday morning, 57.5% of voters told him to quit.
Translations by Oleksandr Vynogradov
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