Pavel Durov

adminMay 30, 2018348

Pavel  Durov is a Russian entrepreneur, a programmer, a ruble billionaire, one of the creators of the social network “VKontakte” and the company of the same name; creator of the cross-platform messenger “Telegram”.

Former CEO of VKontakte (2006-2014). In the student years, the winner of scholarships of the President of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation, a three-time laureate of the Potaninsky Scholarship.

In 2001 he graduated with honors from the Academic Gymnasium, in 2006 – the Philological Faculty of the St. Petersburg State University, majoring in English Philology and Translation, with a red diploma (which he still did not take away). A year before he had finished his professional training at the Department of Military Training of St. Petersburg State University on specialization “Propaganda and psychological warfare”, after which he received the rank of lieutenant of the reserve. Immediately after graduation, he created VKontakte, the largest social network in Russia at the moment. For 2011, Durov, who has a fortune of 7.9 billion rubles, took 350th place in the rating of Russian billionaires.

Pavel is a vegetarian and adheres to libertarian political views. Durov is called the Russian Mark Zuckerberg and often criticized for his eccentric antics and statements. November 19, 2012, published a book by Nikolai Kononov “The Code of Durov”, describing the formation of “VKontakte” and its creator; on its adaptation has already acquired the rights of the company AR Films.

In 2014, he left Russia and said that he was not going to return.

In 2016 and 2017 years. was listed among the Forbes 200 richest businessmen in Russia. 


Father – Doctor of Philology Valery Semenovich Durov (born 1945), the author of many scientific works, since 1992 he heads the chair of classical philology of the philological faculty of St. Petersburg State University.

Mother – Albina Alexandrovna Durova.

My brother Nikolai (born 1980), mathematician, the candidate of physical and mathematical sciences, multiple prize-winner of Russian and international Olympiads in mathematics and computer science, twice absolute world champion in programming among students, from the day of foundation and until mid-2013 was the technical director of VKontakte “.

Consolidated brother – Mikhail Petrov, son of Albina Durova from his first marriage.

Grandfather of Paul, Semyon Petrovich Tulyakov (born 1913), participated in the Great Patriotic War. He served in the 65th Rifle Regiment, participated in battles on the Leningrad front in the Krasnoborsk and Gatchina directions, was wounded three times. He was introduced to the Order of the Red Star, awarded the Order of the Patriotic War II degree and on the 40th anniversary of the Victory Order of the Patriotic War, I degree. After the war, he was repressed.


Pavel Durov was born in Leningrad on October 10, 1984, in an intelligent family. In the first grade of school went, being in Turin, where his father worked for several years. Returning to his hometown, Pavel did not long study in an ordinary school and entered the experimental classes of the Academic Gymnasium (now the Mednikov Academic Classes), in which an in-depth study of all subjects, including four foreign languages, is carried out. There he had a reputation as an erudite and sat at the first desk because of visual problems.

At the age of 11, he was interested in programming for the first time. Known for his escapade, when he changed the screensaver of all school computers to a photo of the teacher of computer science with the signature “Must die” (Russian must die). Durov was denied access to computers, but he hacked passwords to them. In 2001 he graduated with honors from the Academic Gymnasium. In 2002, Pavel entered the Faculty of Philology of St. Petersburg State University, specializing in English Philology and Translation. For his academic achievements and contribution to the student life of the university, he was awarded a scholarship of the Government of the Russian Federation, and then a scholarship of the President of the Russian Federation.

In general, Paul Durov is distinguished by a passion for languages: “Learn foreign languages. This will unrealistically expand the depth of perception of the world and open unprecedented prospects for learning, development and career growth, “he once gave readers on his Vkontakte page. It also lists the languages that are owned by Pavel Durov: in addition to English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, he knows Latin and Persian.

Pavel was three times the winner of the Potanin scholarship, and also was a selected number of students of St. Petersburg State University with the highest level of intelligence and leadership abilities. He won at the Olympiads in informatics, linguistics, and design, organized university-wide events. Pavel graduated from the university in 2006 with a red diploma (which he did not take back). A year before, he had completed vocational training at the Department of Military Education of St. Petersburg State University, specializing in “Propaganda and Psychological Warfare”. During his studies at this faculty, Pavel served as commander of the platoon of the Faculty of Philology, and afterward received the rank of lieutenant of the reserve.

Even during his studies at St. Petersburg State University, Pavel created non-commercial Internet projects designed to improve the quality of public and scientific life of the university. These projects were sites and The first project is an electronic library of university abstracts, as well as a place for the exchange of ideas and opinions of students; the second is a forum of the university, where Paul was often the initiator of various discussions in which, using different accounts, he argued with himself.


“VKontakte” is the largest social network in the RuNet, the first most popular website in Belarus, the second in Russia, the third in Ukraine, the fifth in Kazakhstan, the 26th in the world estimated at $ 1.5 billion. For example, in September 2012 the daily audience of the site averaged 22 million people. As of September of the same year, VKontakte registered more than 140 million users. By the speed of its growth, the social network has broken all the records of the RuNet. A major shareholder of the network is Mail.Ru Group, a holding company that owns, according to April 2011, 32.49% of all VKontakte shares.

VKontakte provides financial support for the developing Olympiad programming in Russia and sponsors teams of programmers from St. Petersburg and the North-West of Russia. Among the company’s employees are the best Russian programmers, laureates of international competitions in programming and mathematics.

January 24, 2014, it became known that Durov in December 2013 signed a deal to sell the remaining 12% stake in Vkontakte Ivan Tavrinu and ceased to be the owner of the network.

On April 1, Pavel Durov announced on his page about his resignation from the post of general director of VKontakte, explaining this by reducing the available freedom of action, but then, on April 3, he withdrew his statement of resignation. Then it turned out that this was not an April Fools’ joke, on April 21, the owners of the social network VKontakte satisfied the application for dismissal, which was previously sent to them by the CEO and founder of the network, Pavel Durov.

Since September 16, 2014, the only owner of VKontakte is Mail.Ru Group.


On August 14, 2013, the first Telegram client was presented. In November, the program had, according to “TJournal”, about 1 million units. In an interview with The New York Times, Pavel said that the original idea of the application came to him back in 2011, when the special forces came to his door. When the last ones left, Durov immediately wrote to his brother Nicholas. Then he realized that he did not have a safe way of communicating with his brother. The service is based on the encryption technology of MTProto correspondence, developed by Pavel Nikolay’s brother.

In response to proposals by some officials to ban the messenger on the territory of Russia, on December 24, 2015, on his VKontakte page, Pavel Durov stated: “As for Telegram, the project did not give out anything, and will not give out personal data and encryption keys to third parties. The messenger is popular among tens of millions of users in dozens of markets, and the threat of blocking one or two of them will not affect its privacy policy. ”


Pavel Durov and Arkady Volozh at the conference “Yandex Data Factories”, March 2, 2015

On April 16 Pavel Durov announced that on December 13, 2013, the FSB required the management of the network to transfer personal information to the organizers of the “Euromaidan” groups, to which he refused. In December, a deal was made to sell the stake in the company. According to him, the jurisdiction of Russia does not apply to Ukrainian users of the social network “VKontakte”. Durov also noted that the dissemination of data of Ukrainian users would not only be a violation of the law, but also a crime against millions of users from Ukraine.

April 22, 2014, it became known that Pavel Durov went abroad and is not going to return to Russia. He said this in an interview with TechCrunch. He noted: “Unfortunately, in this country, it is impossible to conduct Internet business”.

“I’m afraid there’s no going back for me. Especially after I publicly refused to cooperate with the authorities. ”

Also, the founder of VKontakte reported that in the near future plans to focus on the creation of a mobile social network. Later, UCP, which at that time owned 48% of VKontakte, said that he did not consider the resignation of Pavel Durov from the post of director general a fait accompli. UCP’s partner Yury Kachuro considered that the executive director of VKontakte exceeded his authority and did not discuss such a serious decision with the board of directors.

Durov constantly moves from country to country, not staying in one for more than two or three weeks. Together with him to Paris, Singapore and other cities are traveling and his team of programmers with whom he develops the telegram messenger. Paul reported that he was not a fan of the idea of the state. “Now I’m very happy, living without any property and considering myself a citizen of the world.” In addition to the Russian, has a passport of the state of St. Kitts and Nevis, he received this passport after investing in the economy of the country.

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