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Russian Facebook 'VKontakte' Dramatically Fires Original Founder 'Pavel Durov'

Russian 'Facebook' VKontakte Founder Pavel Durov Fired Dramatically


Yesterday reports revealed that Pavel Durov, the 29-year-old founder of Russia’s most popular social networking site VKontakte (VK) - Russia’s Facebook, had been fired from his post of general director of Vkontakte.

On monday, Durov said that the social networking site VK is now under the complete control of two close allies of President Vladimir Putin.

Publicly announcing his firing on his VK page he said, “In this way, today VKontakte goes under the complete control of Igor Sechin and Alisher Usmanov. Probably, in the Russian context, something like this was inevitable, but I'm happy we lasted seven and a half years. We did a lot. And part of what’s been done can't be turned back.

Last Month on 21st March, the 29-year-old entrepreneur announced submitted his resignation, but earlier this month that he had rescinded his resignation as the company’s CEO because it was an April Fool Prank, but unfortunately he supposedly failed to properly withdraw before a one-month deadline had expired.

PUTIN ALLIES 'ALISHER USMANOV' & 'IGOR SECHIN' CONTROL VKontakte
Current owners Alisher Usmanov the is Russia's richest man and head of Mail.ru service and Igor Sechin is the CEO of a state-owned oil company and reportedly a close Putin ally.

Durov claims he heard news of his resignation from the press, not from the company's managing board. “It is interesting that the shareholders did not have enough courage to do it directly,” Durov wrote on his VK page, “about this mysterious dismissal I learnt from the press.

The social media site boasts over 100 million users, and Durov as CEO has largely stayed out of politics. He also refused the previous Kremlin attempts to censor VKontakte, including not shutting down the page of a Putin rival, Alexey Navalny, or Ukrainian protesters.

He had resisted to release personal information about opposition activists who use VK even after increasing pressure from the Federal Security Services.

DUROV SOLD HIS 12% STAKE IN VK
In January this year, Pavel Durov suddenly sold out his remaining 12 percent stake in VK, estimated at a value of $420 million, to MegaFon chief Ivan Tavrin, which is co-owned by Alisher Usmanov. He said, "I’m not going anywhere and I’m going to continue to monitor the quality of VKontakte. In the end, VKontakte is the best that has been created in Russia in the sphere of communications. And my responsibility is to preserve and protect the network."

Durov founded VKontakte in the year 2006 with an interface quite similar to that of Facebook. Due to its user friendly interface and virtually unlimited access to videos and music freely uploaded by other users, the social network became hugely popular and became Russia’s most leading social network with almost 61 million active users in Russia alone and approximately 100 million users worldwide.

From now on, VKontakte’s control is in the hands of billionaire Alisher Usmanov's Mail Group, which holds 52 percent of the company shares and the remaining 48 percent is controlled by investment group United Capital Partners.

At this time the CEO position is very Dramatic and it is not yet clear who will be pointed as the new CEO, but till then the deputy chief executive Boris Dobrodeyev and executive director Dmitry Sergeyev will lead VK.

Last week, during a Live Interview on a National News channel, Edward Snowden asked a surprised question to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, “Does Russia store, intercept, or analyze, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?”, and Mr. President denied it by replying that Russia is not carrying out any mass surveillance programmes, but the Media around the world criticized this Interview as a PR stunt to hide Russian Surveillance scene.

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