The lives of Telegram founder Pavel Durov and his team are shrouded in secrecy, much like their heavily encrypted messenger service.
In interviews, Durov has said that the team uproots to a new location every several months, staying in hotel rooms or temporary accommodation.
This week, however, a man who says he was Telegram’s technical director, Anton Rozenberg, wrote a detailed article on the Medium blog describing his falling out with the Durov brothers that has resulted in two lawsuits.
Rozenberg is suing Durov’s company Telegram for wrongfully firing him in April 2017. Telegraph, the company which formally employed Rozenberg but which Durov says he has no involvement in, has launched a countersuit against Rozenberg for 100 million rubles ($1.7 million).
The two separate trials began on Sept. 18 in St. Petersburg and were recently postponed until next month when the lawyers did not appear in court.
What does the article say?
The detailed article on the Medium blog (still viewable in Google cache) was published on Sept. 18 with copious documentation from personal archives and social media.
Rozenberg recounted his childhood friendship with Pavel Durov’s older brother Nikolai, his reported employment with the popular Russian social network VKontakte (VK), founded by Durov, and his later involvement in Telegram, also Durov’s brainchild.
The colorful read has been mined mainly for details of the Durovs’ private lives; supposedly a portrait of exiled tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky hangs in their bathroom. It also gives an insider’s view of the secretive world of lucrative internet companies in Russia. Durov reportedly owns a luxury apartment and a Mercedes Maybach — claims flatly denied by Durov himself.
Rozenberg writes it was his office in the landmark Singer House in St.Petersburg from which Durov threw thousands of paper-plane ruble notes to amazed pedestrians belowin a notorious stunt in 2013.