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How Russia Killed Its Tech Industry

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Moscow River

Foreign venture capital investment into Russian companies fell by 57% in 2022.

Credit: Getty Images

In the months after its invasion of Ukraine, Russia saw a mass exodus of IT workers. According to government figures, about 100,000 IT specialists left Russia in 2022, or some 10% of the tech workforce — a number that is likely an underestimate.

Tech workers who left warn that Russia is well on its way to becoming a village: cut off from the global tech industry, research, funding, scientific exchanges, and critical components.

In Russia, technology was one of the few sectors where people felt they could succeed on merit. The industry also maintained a spirit of openness: Russian entrepreneurs won international funding and made deals all over the world. 

But cracks in Russia's tech industry started appearing well before the war. For more than a decade, the government has attempted to put Russia's Internet and its most powerful tech companies in a tight grip, threatening an industry that once promised to bring the country into the future. Experts say Russia's war against Ukraine only accelerated the damage.

From MIT Technology Review
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