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TechUkraine’s IT community responds to war’s obstacles.
Polina Boichuk, like many other Ukrainians, has a bleak future ahead of her.

Ukraine’s IT community responds to war’s obstacles.

“It’s a disaster. This can’t be happening; my family, friends, and I are all huddled in basements throughout the country “she told the BBC.

Truman, a consulting firm, had scheduled the awards event for April and invited journalists from all around the world.

Technology firms now have a new focus: how to aid the military effort.

“We don’t think about tech conferences; we just think about our country’s safety and independence,” Ms Boichuk told BBC News.

“All of the selected IT corporations and start-ups for our project are now fighting on the cyber-front.”

Stepan Veselovskyi, the chief executive of Lviv IT Cluster, a digital community that combines around 200 enterprises in the western Ukrainian city, showed BBC News around his workplace, which is currently stocked with essential supplies such as medications, bedding, and food, through a Google Meet.

“We were a corporate organisation before the war, but today we are a volunteer organisation,” he explained.

“Everyone has taken up the role of a volunteer.”

“Anyone with a car is transporting goods to other cities at his or her own risk.”


Find a place to stay.

Mr Veselovskyi told BBC News that many IT businesses were fleeing the Russian advance and migrating to the west of the nation.

“It has saved countless lives while also assisting businesses in continuing to sell their services,” he added.

“We can’t simply sit there and be terrified.”

“It’s also critical for the Ukrainian economy if corporations can deliver.”

The Lviv IT Cluster is assisting refugees who have fled bombed-out cities in their search for shelter and supplies.

Mr Veselovskyi also has 200 cyber-security professionals on his team.


Fighting back,

internet access remained quite solid in most places, with some providers putting up connections in shelters and underground bunkers, according to Yelyzaveta Semko, who also works with Truman.

The Russians, on the other hand, were attempting to “misinform Ukrainians and disseminate fakes online,” sending out fraudulent communications claiming to be from Ukraine’s security agency regarding evacuation preparations and informing people that Kyiv was surrounded.

It’s scary, but some Ukrainian companies are fighting back.

Reface, a face-swapping app headquartered in Ukraine is now sending push alerts about the invasion to its 200 million Russian users, as well as watermarking all of its videos with the slogan #StandWithUkraine.

Ajax Systems, a Ukrainian security firm, is working on an app that would alert residents to air-raid sirens.

Meanwhile, Western technology firms have promised to care about their Ukrainian personnel.

Uber has halted operations in Ukraine and is relocating its Kyiv-based staff and their families to other regions of the nation or abroad.

Lyft, a competitor, has given financial assistance to people who want to quit for a while.

However, Andy Kurtzig, CEO of JustAnswer, a website where consumers can ask physicians, attorneys, mechanics, and other professionals questions, has no intentions to remove his 87 Ukrainian workers.

Instead, he has vowed to keep paying them half their salary if they enlist up to fight for Ukraine, as well as ensuring their work when they return.

“Many other corporations are leaving Ukraine and fleeing Ukraine,” Mr Kurtzig added, “but that’s precisely what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants.”

“We’re not going anywhere.”


Battery back-up

Work has come to a halt for the time being, with the corporation providing staff with five days of paid vacation.

JustAnswer is also working hard to keep its infrastructure and data secure by:

storing data on US servers collaborating with internet providers to prepare backup plans creating emergency satellite communications
generating physical copies of documents using a diesel generator as a backup power source

Other businesses, on the other hand, are assisting in the evacuation of personnel.


Wix, a website-building business located in Lithuania, said its staff drove to the Poland-Ukraine border to assist their Ukrainian team colleagues and families.

“These folks have never met before,” said Avishai Abrahami, the company’s CEO.

“I’m really moved and honoured.”

President of Wix, Nir Zohar, stated: “Being an employer has many facets, and we can’t avoid our responsibilities in times of crisis.

“We have the resources and expertise to assist.

“Doing the right thing isn’t enough; it’s the only thing to do.”

Meanwhile, Ms Boichuk hopes that the world journalists will return to Ukraine to attend press conferences “and experience this extremely beautiful, great, and free country with your own eyes.”

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