Russian technicians sign a petition against the invasion of Ukraine

“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 reads. “We consider any show of force leading to the outbreak of war to be unjustified and call for the reversal of decisions that could inevitably result in loss of life on either side. Our countries have always been close to each other. And today we are worried about our Ukrainian colleagues, friends and relatives.

The petition is the latest example of internal opposition to the invasion, which has surprised many Russians. Some prominent comedians, TV personalities and political analysts have spoken openly against the war, and on Thursday thousands of Russians demonstrated across the country, with more than 1,700 arrested in 47 cities, according to the advocacy group OVD-Info rights. Spontaneous mass protests are illegal in Russia and can 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 it will work, but I know that collective action sometimes helps. It also helps people understand that they are not alone. She confirmed her message to the Washington Post during a conversation on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia has a long history of technological innovation and its IT sector is a key part of the country’s economy. More than 1.3 million people were employed in the industry in 2019, contributing 2.7% of Russia’s gross domestic product, according to research firm IDC. Thousands of Russian-born engineers and developers have also contributed to the American tech sector, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin and creator of the Ethereum blockchain system Vitalik Buterin, who both immigrated to North America with their family when they were children.

Buterin spoke out on Wednesday against Putin’s invasion, write on twitter that the war was a “crime against the Ukrainian and Russian peoples”.

Shortly after Lukyanchikova created the petition, it began to spread among Russian tech workers, who shared it with friends and colleagues on social media.

“10,000 is a huge number,” said Alexander Tomas, a technician at a major IT company who signed the petition, adding that he believed all of the signatories lived in Russia or were of Russian origin. “There were no big names, thought leaders or influencers behind the letter, so people mostly signed it and shared it among themselves on Telegram and other messengers.” Both Lukyanchikova and Tomas spoke on the condition that their employers were not identified.

Tomas said most of his friends and colleagues work in technology or journalism, and most of them wrote on social media to oppose the attack. Some even attended rallies. “The current situation will mainly affect normal people in Ukraine and Russia,” he said.

Tomas also said that Western countries’ retaliatory sanctions against Russia will not harm the country’s wealthy elite. “At the end of the day, the sanctions will hit precisely the doctors, the teachers, the pensioners who will have less money to live on,” he said.

About Dianne Stinson

Check Also

The development of cyber warfare in the United States – part 6

Organic Air Force teams, cutting-edge Silicon Valley startups, or large traditional defense contractors are not …