Facebook Deeper in Hock to RussiansS

Who says foreign investors are done handing money to risky Americans? Russia's Digital Sky Technologies just started cashing out employee shares in Facebook, a $100 million investment. The move was expected; the implications will take longer to settle in.

Digital Sky had already put $200 million into Facebook. The Russian fund's follow-on investment had been discussed prior to being activated today.

Employees can only cash out some of their money (20 percent, VentureBeat reported previously). In the meantime, they're strengthening the grip of DST, backed to a major degree by a censorious Russian oligarch and purported "gangster" (Alisher Usmanov, pictured). Writes Kara Swisher at All Things Digital:

If fully accepted by those employees eligible, it will give DST 1.54 percent more of Facebook, for a total of 3.5 percent of the company. That makes DST–based in London and Moscow–one of the bigger Facebook investors, with a stake larger than one owned by Microsoft (MSFT).

If the money brings Facebook closer to Russia's defacto dictatorship, at least the social network's employees are recycling the money in a truly aggressive, capitalist fashion: One employee spoke to Swisher about a down payment on a house. Talk about doubling down on risk!