Putin’s mates take control of Russian Facebook

The Tsar of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin I, has apparently taken control of the Russian Facebook to make sure that he can effectively monitor Ukrainian protests.

Pavel Durov who ran VKontakte had previously announced he was leaving the company but said he had withdrawn his resignation but found that allies of Putin sitting in his desk.

Durov was reported in the Guardian as saying he had previously refused requests from the Russian government to censor posts on his site.

“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.”

Sechin is the chief executive of state-owned oil company Rosneft and was President Putin’s former deputy chief of staff. Usmanov, who is the richest man in Russia.

The Russian news agency Interfax reported that Vkontakte said they had acted on Mr Durov’s resignation letter of 21 March as he had not withdrawn it officially within an allowed one-month grace period.

Durov has since said he has fled the country saying that it is incompatible with internet business at the moment.

Durov had been asked by the Russian authorities to hand over the details of Ukrainians who had used the site to create groups related to anti-government protests. He was also asked to close down a group that supported Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

He said no had flogged his shares in the company so that he could continue “to make the right decisions”.