Founder of "Russia's Facebook" says Putin is now in control of the site

The embattled founder of VK, Russia’s largest social networking site, said this week that the company is now “under the complete control” of two oligarchs with close ties to President Vladimir Putin. In a VK post published Monday, Pavel Durov said he’s been fired as CEO of the website, claiming that he was pushed out on a technicality, and that he only heard of it through media reports. 

Pavel Durov, the founder of VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network, said on Monday that he had been fired and that the site was now “under the complete control” of two close allies of President Vladimir Putin. Announcing his firing on his VKontakte page, Durov said: “Today, VKontakte goes under the complete control of Igor Sechin and Alisher Usmanov.” Usmanov is a metals tycoon who expanded into tech via his company Mail.ru, which has steadilyupped its stake in the Russian social network. Until recently, Usmanov owned a 10% stake in Facebook. Sechin is the leader of the hardline silovik faction that backs Putin, is CEO of Rosneft, the state-owned oil company, and is believed to be one of the Russian president’s closest advisors.

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