Thursday, December 8, 2022

Russian tech workers sign petition opposing invasion of Ukraine

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“We, employees of the Russian IT industry, are categorically against military operations on the territory of Ukraine initiated by the armed forces of the Russian Federation,” the petition says. “We consider any display of force that leads to the outbreak of war unjustified and call for the reversal of decisions that could inevitably entail human casualties on each side. Our countries have always been close to each other. And today we are worried about our Ukrainian colleagues, friends and relatives.”

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The petition is the most recent instance of inside opposition to the invasion, which got here as a shock to many Russians. Some distinguished comedians, tv figures and political analysts have spoken overtly towards the struggle, and Thursday, 1000’s of Russians protested throughout the nation, with greater than 1,700 arrested in 47 cities, in accordance with rights group OVD-Info. Spontaneous mass demonstrations are unlawful in Russia and may result in jail time and fines.

“I would really like to be heard. Not only me, but also everyone who does not want war, everyone who is afraid for their friends and acquaintances,” Lukyanchikova, the petition organizer, wrote on Facebook. “I don’t know if this will work out, but I know that collective action helps sometimes. This also helps people understand that they are not alone.” She confirmed her submit to The Washington Post in a dialog on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia has a deep historical past of technological innovation, and its IT sector makes up a key half of the nation’s economic system. More than 1.3 million individuals have been employed within the trade in 2019, contributing 2.7 p.c of Russia’s gross home product, in accordance with analysis agency IDC. Thousands of Russian-born engineers and builders have additionally contributed to the U.S. tech sector, together with Google co-founder Sergey Brin and the creator of the Ethereum blockchain system, Vitalik Buterin, each of whom immigrated to North America with their households as youngsters.

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Buterin spoke out towards Putin’s invasion on Wednesday, writing on Twitter that the struggle was a “crime against the Ukrainian and Russian people.”

Soon after Lukyanchikova created the petition, it started spreading amongst Russian tech workers, who shared it with associates and colleagues on social media.

“10,000, it’s a huge number,” mentioned Alexander Tomas, a tech employee at a serious IT agency who signed the petition, including that he believed that each one the signatories lived in Russia or have been of Russian origin. “There were no big names, opinion leaders or influencers behind the letter, so people mainly signed it and shared with each other on Telegram and other messengers.” Lukyanchikova and Tomas each spoke on the situation that their employers not be recognized.

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Tomas mentioned most of his associates and colleagues work in tech or journalism, and most of them wrote on social media opposing the assault. Some even attended rallies. “The current situation will mainly affect normal people in Ukraine and Russia,” he mentioned.

Tomas additionally mentioned that the retaliatory sanctions from Western nations towards Russia gained’t harm the nation’s rich elite. “In the end of the day, sanctions will hit precisely doctors, teachers, pensioners who will have less money to live,” he mentioned.

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