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.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 unseasonably warm, so afterward he decided to explore the city with Ustinov. Making their way down the sidewalk, they ran into some construction, and were forced to cross the street.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.
This is not an uncommon sight in Moscow — vehicles of diplomats, equipped with spotlights to signal their authority, speeding with impunity.
He often dressed up to attend the parties he frequented, and in a suit he looked movie-star handsome.
The many friends Mazurenko left behind describe him as magnetic and debonair, someone who made a lasting impression wherever he went.
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.