The Ukrainian tech community is showing signs of resilience as Russia invades the country and big tech giants battle the tension caused by propaganda. As Russia began building its military might in Belarus and at a shared border with Ukraine, the whole scene played out for the world on TikTok.
Videos of Russian troops massing on Ukraine‘s borders were being shared widely on TikTok last week, showing how information is now disseminated through tech platforms and not mainstream media channels. However, platforms like Facebook and Google also had to battle Russian propaganda.
Tech community is one of the pillars of Ukraine’s resistance
- TechUkraine, an organisation with a European core but global outlook, is leading the charge on dissemination of verified information. In the face of disinformation and propaganda on tech platforms, TechUkraine is encouraging people to take two steps to help Ukraine “stand against Russian aggression”.
- MacPaw, a company building Mac utility applications, has issued a statement reassuring its users that the invasion won’t affect its services. MacPaw was founded and operated primarily in Kyiv, Ukraine, but the company has been preparing for these circumstances. “[We] were already mainly working remotely to ensure no disruptions in the support and development of our products,” CEO Oleksandr Kosovan says in a blog post. “At this moment, we’re staying strong, united, and ready to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. To support Ukraine in this dark hour, please spread the word among colleagues and readers. Please consider donating to Come Back Alive or other charities helping Ukraine and its Armed Forces,”
- Preply, a US-based language learning app and e-learning platform, said that it has activated full support for its staff where necessary. CEO Kirill Bigai told Silicon Canals in a statement that “it’s a devastatingly sad day in Ukraine and our thoughts are wholeheartedly with everybody who is affected.”
- Ivan Kaunov, founder of a Ukrainian startup developing a corporate finance management application, says, “We are immune to Putin’s intimidation.”
European Startup Network members offer support to Ukrainian entrepreneurs
The European Startup Network has expressed its solidarity with the Ukrainian people and stated, “Ukraine is a part of Europe and just became a conflict zone. It is of utmost importance that as an independent country, Ukraine can build and grow its own tech sector and startup ecosystem. However, due to the current circumstances and in the spirit of European friendship, we would like to welcome any Ukrainian. In our field, we know that many Ukrainian entrepreneurs are now looking for safer places for their projects, their employees and family members. “
Ukrainian VC community preparing for impact
- Vitaly Laptenok, General Partner at Flyer One Ventures, says that “there is no noticeable impact on VC business activity at the moment.” However, he does see a certain impact on investment in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.
Ways to help Ukrainian tech community
Read more via Silicon Canals on how the resilient Ukrainian tech community stands tall amid the crisis: https://bit.ly/3t4bRk5
Thanks Rahul Raj for attention to Ukraine now – very important!
Come Back Alive is one of the largest charitable foundations that supports Ukrainian soldiers, founded by the IT specialist Vitaliy Deynega. The organization collected more than 210 million UAH (more than $7M) in 2014. According to Na chasi, the Patreon page Come Back Alive is in the top ten projects by the number of financial donations.
There are several other organizations to support:
- Army SOS, which develops drones;
- Everybody Can, an organization that supports internally displaced people;
- Help on the Ministry of Defense website.