In the wake of the global financial crisis, Russia experienced a resurgent nationalism, and in 2012 Vladimir Putin returned to lead the country.
The dream of a more open Russia seemed to evaporate.
She was writing an article about Idle Conversation, a freewheeling creative collective that Mazurenko founded with two of his best friends, Dimitri Ustinov and Sergey Poydo.
The trio seemed to be at the center of every cultural endeavor happening in Moscow.
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.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.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.Kuyda had spent that time gathering up his old text messages, setting aside the ones that felt too personal, and feeding the rest into a neural network built by developers at her artificial intelligence startup.Mazurenko would keep his friends up all night discussing culture and the future of Russia.“He was so forward-thinking and charismatic,” said Poydo, who later moved to the United States to work with him.By the time Mazurenko finished college and moved back to Moscow in 2007, Russia had become newly prosperous.The country tentatively embraced the wider world, fostering a new generation of cosmopolitan urbanites.Meanwhile, Mazurenko had grown from a skinny teen into a strikingly handsome young man.Blue-eyed and slender, he moved confidently through the city’s budding hipster class.