Russia faces a “tech blackout” in summer and needs them at home

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Russian computer scientists have been leaving their country en masse since the Ukraine war began. According to estimates by the Russian Association for Electronic Communications, collected by The Moscow TimesBetween 50,000 and 70,000 of these professionals have already gone abroad, and another 100,000 plan to do so in the next month.

The reasons are diverse, from the threat of being recruited to the deterioration of the economic situation in Russia, although Natalya Kaspersky, owner of the antivirus to which her last name is named, pointed out on March 22 fundamentally moral motivations in an intervention in the Russian Duma, which collects The country: “They are young, they are connected in many ways to the West, they work with Western software and this rupture has made them tremble.”

stop the bleeding. This massive exodus has made the Russian government decide not to recruit computer scientists to try to contain the worrying bleeding of professionals. Thus, the Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, has decreed this week that citizens who have completed higher education and have been working in a technology company for at least a year, or those who have at least least one year of work experience in the sector, even if they are unemployed.

In Russia, military service is compulsory between the ages of 18 and 27, and the next call-up will be next April. This would have motivated many of the professionals who can escape to have done so under the threat of being recruited, despite the fact that Russian law prohibits sending these recruits to the front unless they sign a contract with the Armed Forces.

help companies. The measure would also be aimed at helping Russian technology companies, which are already suffering from the exodus and which are finding it increasingly difficult to develop their activity due to the lack of labor. The exemption from military service affects, in addition to computer scientists, professionals from another 60 disciplines considered essential, many of them technical, such as mathematics, cartography, electronics, robotics, naval engineering or aeronautical engineering.

Component Shortage. But the brain drain is not the only problem facing the Russian tech sector as a result of the war in Ukraine. The sanctions are causing the components they use to maintain their infrastructure to become scarce, as reported by the Union of Russian Telecommunications Entrepreneurs and Industries and collected by El País, so the companies warn that their services could begin to fail at starting next summer, as they only have replacements in stock for four or six months.

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A problem that not only has to do with supplies from the West, since, according to the aforementioned union of businessmen, Chinese suppliers are not sending their products either. Apparently, the largest manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and electronics around the world have suspended the shipment of material sine die.

scarce and expensive. Another problem denounced by the sector is that the few pieces that they can still buy have reached prices much higher than they had before the war, since demand has skyrocketed due to the lack of supply and the devaluation of the ruble and the lack of foreign currency in Russia is making them enormously expensive.

Image | Vadim Ghirda/AP

Russian computer scientists have been leaving their country en masse since the Ukraine war began. According to estimates by the…

Russian computer scientists have been leaving their country en masse since the Ukraine war began. According to estimates by the…

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