Founder of Russia’s Largest Internet Company Slams ‘Barbaric’ Invasion of Ukraine

An anonymous reader quoted a CNN report: The founder and former CEO of the largest Internet company in Russia, Arkady Volozh, has criticized Vladimir Putin’s “barbaric” war in Ukraine, becoming one of the most prominent Russian businessmen to voice criticism of what Russia still euphemistically calls its “special military operation.” “I’ve been asked a lot of questions over the past year, and a lot of them have come up this week in particular. I would like to clarify my position,” he said in a statement released to the media. “I am completely against Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, where I, like many, have friends and relatives. I am horrified by the fact that bombs are flying into the homes of Ukrainians every day,” Volozh said, describing himself “as a ‘Kazakhstan’. – born in Israel, technology entrepreneur, computer scientist, investor and philanthropist.” “Despite the fact that I have not lived in Russia since 2014, I understand that I also bear a share of responsibility for the actions of the country,” he added .. “There were many reasons why I should have remained silent. You can argue about the timeliness of my statement, but not about its content. I am against war.”

In June 2022, Volozh stepped down as CEO of Yandex ( YNDX ), which also runs Russia’s most popular search engine, after being sanctioned by the European Union over Russia’s actions in Ukraine. “Volozh is a leading businessman involved in economic sectors providing a significant source of revenue for the government of the Russian Federation, which is responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of Ukraine,” the EU said. “Yandex is also responsible for promoting state media and narratives in its search results, as well as for downgrading and removing content critical of the Kremlin, such as content related to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.” In his statement, Volozh said that after moving to Israel in 2014, he worked on the development of international projects at Yandex. “But in February 2022, the world changed and I realized that my story with Yandex was over.”

“After the outbreak of the war, I focused on supporting talented Russian engineers who decided to leave the country and start a new life. This turned out to be a difficult task, requiring a lot of effort, attention and caution,” he said. “Now these people are out of Russia and can start doing something new in the most advanced areas of technology. They will be of great benefit to the countries they stay in,” he added. Volozh also said that when Yandex was created, “we believed that we were building a new Russia – open, progressive, integrated into the global economy, known in the world not only for its raw materials.” However, “over time, it became clear that Russia is in no hurry to become part of the global world. At the same time, the pressure on the company is growing,” he said. “But we didn’t give up, we did our best despite the external conditions. Was it always possible to find the right balance? Now, looking back, it’s clear that something could have been done differently.”

Comments are closed.