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Vkontakte Founder Pavel Durov Becomes Citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis

Published: April 23, 2014 (Issue # 1807)



  • Vkontakte social network founder Pavel Durov has reportedly acquired citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis.
    Photo: Pavel Durov / VKontakte

Vkontakte social network founder Pavel Durov acquired citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis shortly before fleeing Russia amid a conflict with security services over data protection and privacy, a news report has said.

Durov, who was fired from his position as Vkontakte CEO last week, received a St. Kitts and Nevis passport by contributing $250,000 to the Caribbean nation's sugar industry in February, an unidentified source close to the company's shareholders said, Izvestia reported Monday.

Durov's brother, Nikolai, who worked as a technical director at Vkontakte, is also seeking citizenship of the Caribbean nation through a similar investment program, the source added.

St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship may be obtained by investing $400,000 in the country's real estate, or by making a "non-refundable contribution" of $250,000 to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, according to the islands' citizenship-by-investment program website.

It takes between three and six months to process a citizenship application for St. Kitts and Nevis, a spokesperson for Henley Estates, a company that handles citizenship-by-investment applications for wealthy emigration-seekers, was cited as telling Izvestia.

The necessary funds also have to be invested after the application has been approved, the spokesperson said, indicating that Durov submitted his application several months ago.

Durov, who reportedly resisted months of increasing pressure from the Federal Security Service to release personal information about opposition activists who use Vkontakte, said that he learned about his dismissal from media reports last week.

He also said on his Vkontakte page that the social network will now fall under the "full control" of Kremlin-linked Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, and Vkontakte billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov.

After he was fired as Vkontakte CEO, Durov apparently traveled from Russia to the United Arab Emirates, where he holds a long-term residence visa, an unidentified source said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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