Russian Telegram Founder, Pavel Durov Defied Putin and Refused to Hand Over User Data

Russian Telegram Founder, Pavel Durov Defied Putin and Refused to Hand Over User Data

  • The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, fled Russia after he was asked to hand over user data of Ukrainians and Russians
  • Durove is estimated to be worth over $15 billion and is the 112th richest man in the world according to reports
  • As the war in Ukraine rages, Durov said the privacy of Ukrainians is of utmost importance and will not be compromised

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Russian Telegram founder, Pave Durov fled Russia Russia in 2014 after his house was surrounded by SWAT team after defying Kremlin by refusing to hand over user data of Vkontakte, the company he was the CEO of.

He was born in St. Petersburg in Soviet Russia. His net worth, according to Forbes is about $15.1 billion and is the 112th richest person in the world.

Russia. Telegram, Pavel Durov, Putin
Telegram founder, Pavel Durov Credit: Pavel Durov
Source: Instagram

Durov co-founded the messaging platform, Telegram in 2013 with his brother Nickolai. Digital Life Design report says the brothers were born into a family of intellectuals, according to a report by Business Insider

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A surging wealth

His wealth comes from Telegram, valued at $30 billion with 500 million active users.

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He started the network in 2006 and sold 12% stake in the company for $300 million in 2015.

As per New York Times, he became famous via telegram which earned him trouble from the Kremlin, especially when he refused to grant access to give up access to user data of Ukrainian protesters.

In 2018, Telegram was restricted in Russia after he denied Putin’s request to give up users’ data. The Russians poured into the streets in protest, holding signs which showed Durov as a saint. Telegram was restored two years later.

Telegram is a major force in the war in Ukraine. Ukrainians use the messaging platform to communicate.

Ukrainians wage war against Russia via Telegram

A group of Ukrainian IT experts say they use Telegram to share information on how to wage cyber warfare against Russia. They use the app to share Russian targets including government websites, state-owned media and even the Russian energy giant, Gasprom.

The tech entrepreneur promised in a post on Telegram to protect the data of Ukrainian users. He has Ukrainian ancestry, as per the Telegram post.

No permanent residency for Telegram

In 2017, he moved to Dubai and also relocated the network’s operations to an office in Dubai’s Media City, according to a Bloomberg report.

He told reporters that he does not want Telegram to have a permanent base like a headquarters.

He has a dislike the Silicon Valley and said that the US is not the best place to site a tech company.

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