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Ukraine’s tech diaspora races to mobilize Silicon Valley in war with Russia -Breaking

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© Reuters. As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, supporters gather outside San Francisco’s city hall. This rally was organized by Nova Ukraine (a Silicon Valley-based humanitarian assistance group). It took place on February 27, 2022. Igor Markov/Nova Ukraine/Handou

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(Refile to change preferred name spelling at paragraph 22.

Jeffrey Dastin & Paresh Dave

OAKLAND (Calif.) – Ukrainians working for Western tech companies have joined forces to aid their homeland. They aim to destroy disinformation sites, urge Russians to rebel against their government, and accelerate the delivery of medical supplies.

Through email campaigns and online petitions they are trying to convince companies such as Cloudflare (NYSE) Inc, Alphabet(NASDAQ:) Inc’s Google, and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:) more to stop Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

Olexiy Oryeshko (a Google staff software engineer and Ukrainian American), stated that companies should seek to isolate Russia. “Sanctions don’t suffice.”

He was among nine techno activists who were interviewed by Reuters. They are either of Ukrainian origin or have been living in Ukraine for a while and responded to a Kyiv call to create an “IT army” of volunteers.

Some companies have ended their Russian relations due to restrictions placed by government agencies, but activists want more.

These Russian hackers are asking cybersecurity firms to stop working with Russian publishers, particularly those that they claim to be disinformation. Publishers would then be even more susceptible to cyberattacks.

Igor Seletskiy is the chief executive at CloudLinux in Palo Alto, a software company that makes CloudLinux. He has asked Cloudflare for several Russian news sites to be dropped.

He wrote, “Given the fact that even Switzerland has taken sides,” in an email to executives which he shared at Reuters.

Cloudflare announced that it has terminated certain clients as a result of sanctions. The company said it began reviewing accounts identified in Seletskiy’s email and was cautious because it would compromise customer security.

Vlad Goloshuk was prompted by the explosion of bombs outside of his parents’ house last week. He is also concerned about his safety and that of his Ukrainian colleagues.

Over a dozen of them, including security providers and web hosting companies, stated that they will do all they could. According to Goloshuk’s replies to Reuters, some have already dropped Russian clients or are considering it, a CEO at Brightest Minds who helps companies generate leads, said that many.

Philipp Lypniakov is a Spanish delivery company app Glovo who has supported attempts to shut down Russian websites. Lypniakov said he hopes that the “IT War” will save Ukraine.

He stated that disruptions will “lead to a message from the average citizen up to high-ranking officials, that this is unacceptable.”

SERVICE SUSPENSION URGED

A letter was signed by hundreds of Google employees, requesting that Sundar Pichai, the CEO, be given more help for Ukraine.

Google did not respond to our request for comment. Google declined to comment. In the last days, Russia has been banned from advertising in Ukraine and prohibited distribution of Russian media tools.

The activists also seek to destroy the daily lives of civilian Russians in an effort to undermine support within Russia for the war.

Stas Mattviyenko is the CEO of Allset restaurant order-ahead firm in Los Angeles. He has created an online petition calling on U.S. app developers for entertainment, payment and dating to ban access to Russia.

Big Tech could also help with its financial and supply chain strength.

Nova Ukraine, an aid organization based in Silicon Valley, has asked Amazon for worker time as well space to store bandages or other essential supplies.

Igor Markov is a Nova Ukraine director and a technology research scientist.

Amazon did not respond to our request for comment. Amazon stated this week that it will donate $10 million to support organizations in Ukraine.

Organizing aid for Ukraine online has consumed Julia Nechaieva, a product director at Amazon’s live streaming unit Twitch.

She said, “I’ve only opened my computer for work three times since Wednesday.” “To notify my manager I will not be available and to match donations.”

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