“He was so forward-thinking and charismatic,” said Poydo, who later moved to the United States to work with him.
Mazurenko became a founding figure in the modern Moscow nightlife scene, where he promoted an alternative to what Russians sardonically referred to as “Putin’s glamor” — exclusive parties where oligarchs ordered bottle service and were chauffeured home in Rolls-Royces.
Average in height, with a mop of chestnut hair, he is almost always smiling.
As a teen he sought out adventure: he participated in political demonstrations against the ruling party and, at 16, started traveling abroad.
The trio seemed to be at the center of every cultural endeavor happening in Moscow.
They started magazines, music festivals, and club nights — friends they had introduced to each other formed bands and launched companies.
He first traveled to New Mexico, where he spent a year on an exchange program, and then to Dublin, where he studied computer science and became fascinated with the latest Western European art, fashion, music, and design.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, Russia experienced a resurgent nationalism, and in 2012 Vladimir Putin returned to lead the country.
And when Mazurenko began talking about new projects he wanted to pursue, she took it as a positive sign.
He successfully applied for an American O-1 visa, granted to individuals of “extraordinary ability or achievement,” and in November he returned to Moscow in order to finalize his paperwork. On November 28th, while he waited for the embassy to release his passport, Mazurenko had brunch with some friends.
It was expensive due to the exchange rate but it was worth it.
hen the engineers had at last finished their work, Eugenia Kuyda opened a console on her laptop and began to type. “This is your digital monument.” It had been three months since Roman Mazurenko, Kuyda’s closest friend, had died.
Both became entrepreneurs, and served as each other’s chief adviser as they built their companies.