It’s almost like Six Degrees of Separation: a reputed Russian mobster indicted for allegedly trying to fix the skating competition at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics is the same guy under indictment by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan for allegedly providing protection for a high-stakes illegal global gambling ring operating out of Trump Tower, and he is the same guy who turned up as a VIP on the red carpet at Donald Trump’s Miss Universe contest in Moscow in 2013.
Trump has tried for years to establish business ties with Russian companies and holding the Miss Universe contest in Moscow was part of that effort.
The alleged mobster, Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov:
was part of a crew of wealthy and powerful Russians who, according to a press report, were treated as VIPs. Also present were Vladimir Kozhin, a top government official and member of Putin's inner circle (who the following year would be hit with US sanctions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine) and Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire oligarch close to Putin with whom Trump wanted to develop a high-rise in Moscow.
Currently wanted by Interpol, in the past Tokhtakhunov was involved in a number of ventures throughout Russia.
He once owned casinos in Moscow. He claimed to be an organizer of pop concerts and fashion shows. He represented a modeling association, and he wrote novels. He lived in a high-end apartment building in Moscow and kept a palatial country house outside the city.
Trump cites the Miss Universe contest in Moscow as proof of his foreign policy experience.