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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.
“He was so forward-thinking and charismatic,” said Poydo, who later moved to the United States to work with him.
They started magazines, music festivals, and club nights — friends they had introduced to each other formed bands and launched companies.
“He was a brilliant guy,” said Kuyda, who was similarly ambitious.
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.
Kuyda loved Mazurenko’s parties, impressed by his unerring sense of what he called “the moment.” Each of his events was designed to build to a crescendo — DJ Mark Ronson might make a surprise appearance on stage to play piano, or the Italo-Disco band Glass Candy might push past police to continue playing after curfew.
She had struggled with whether she was doing the right thing by bringing him back this way. But ever since Mazurenko’s death, Kuyda had wanted one more chance to speak with him. “You have one of the most interesting puzzles in the world in your hands,” it said. orn in Belarus in 1981, Roman Mazurenko was the only child of Sergei, an engineer, and Victoria, a landscape architect.