Pavel Durov

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Pavel Durov
Pavel Durov 26years.jpg
Pavel Durov on his 26th birthday
Born (1984-10-10) 10 October 1984 (age 30)
Leningrad, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian
Alma mater Saint Petersburg State University
Occupation Entrepreneur
Years active October 2006–April 2014
Known for

Founding VK in 2006

Founding Telegram Messenger in 2013
Net worth US$ 260 million (2012)[1]
Relatives Nikolai Durov (brother)

Pavel Valeryevich Durov (Russian: Па́вел Вале́рьевич Ду́ров; born 10 October 1984) is a Russian entrepreneur, best known for being the founder of the social networking site VK, and later the Telegram Messenger.[2] He is the younger brother of Nikolai Durov.

Personal life[edit]

Pavel Durov was born in Leningrad (now known as St. Petersburg), but spent most of his childhood in Italy, in the city of Turin. His father Valery (who holds a Ph. D. in philology) was employed there. He attended an Italian elementary school, and after returning to Russia at 2001 attended the Academy Gymnasium in St. Petersburg.[3] At 2006 graduated the Faculty of philology of the Saint Petersburg State University, received first class degree.

Durov holds libertarian economic and political views and says he is a vegetarian and identifies as a Taoist.[4] He published anarcho-capitalist manifestos describing his ideas on improving Russia.[5] On his 27th birthday, he donated a million dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.[6]

Durov left Russia in 2014, stating that he had no desire to go back and that "the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment".[7]

Leaving VK[edit]

On April 16, 2014 Durov publicly refused to hand over data of Ukrainian protesters to Russia's security agencies and block Alexey Navalny's page on VK.[7] Instead he posted the relevant orders on his own VK page [8][9] claiming that the requests were unlawful.

On April 21, 2014 Durov was dismissed as VK CEO. The company claimed it was acting on a letter of resignation written by Durov a month earlier that he supposedly failed to recall.[10][7] Durov then claimed the company had been effectively taken over by Vladimir Putin's allies,[10][11] suggesting his ousting was the result both of his refusal to hand over personal details of users to the Russian Federal Security Service and his refusal to hand over the personal details of people who were members of a Vkontakte group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement.[10][11] Durov then left Russia and stated he had "no plans to go back".[11]


He has been called the Mark Zuckerberg of Russia.[12][13]

In August 2014 Pavel Durov was named the most promising Northern European leader under 30.[14]


External links[edit]