Since the war in Ukraine started, tech workers in Russia have been facing difficulties. ITThe sanctions other countries have introduced have cut off access to some crucial products and services for their operations. Furthermore, the Russian government itself isn’t exactly careful when banning websites and tech services. As such, many IT workers have decided to leave the country altogether to preserve their livelihood.
They also had other reasons to leave. A lot of tech workers are young males that would deem them fit for military service. As conscription in Russia is a mandatory process, a lot of them would have to be a part of the invasion. However, as they didn’t agree with the war, they used the opportunity to avoid potentially killing innocent people.
Many Russian tech figureheads belong to the group looking for or actively taking a way out. Nik Shevchenko, WeLoveNoCode’s 22-year old chief executive, Natalia Chebotar, Yandex’s former top Manager, Yuri Malyugin, a product designer at SberAutoTech. Those are the names of some people that may be recognizable in the tech world. However, the list is far from over, as projections state that over 70,000 people have left already.
There are further difficulties in software bans and payment systems. Those that work for foreign companies have difficulties in receiving their salary. That’s due to the early March SWIFT ban.
Predictions state that another 100,000 may leave Russia in April if they were allowed to, but that’s where the issue arises. Russia’s FSB is fast on the track of tech workers leaving the country, in accordance with Russia’s new anti-emigration stance. During the past month, over 500 stories of IT workers being detained and questions have arisen on telegram. As the situation intensifies, doubts about hacking could become more prominent, thus making it much more difficult to leave Russia.