Russian Tech Industry Faces ‘Brain Drain’ as Workers Flee

“We don’t have enough quality apartments for highly educated people with high salaries and high standards,” said Aram Shahbandarian, a former Google employee living in Yerevan who is helping many Russians move to the city. “Yerevan is cracking.”

Armenian Economy Minister Vahan Karobyan said in an interview that as a country with strategic relations with Russia, it is not marketing itself as an attempt to get companies out of Russia, but if companies decide to relocate, it will work to accommodate them. .

“The Armenian tech community is providing support to their Russian friends, and the government is very concerned about giving Russian companies a nice place where they can work, not too expensive,” he said. Mr. The Caribbean estimates that 43,000 people fled Russia to Armenia, half of them with Russian passports and half with Armenian passports.

Miro, a U.S. software company, chartered flights to Yerevan for its Russian employees and moved them to two hotels in the city center, Mr. Said Carrobin. X-Tensive, a software development company in Russia, has also moved its staff to the Armenian city because its primary client, Service Titan, was established there, he said.

Miro has publicly stated that she is moving her workers out of Russia. X-Tension did not respond to a request for comment.

Many of these workers may eventually move to other locations because visa restrictions require them to leave their current home after certain days. Many are not sure where they can go. Others are planning to move to distant tech hubs like Dubai and Lisbon.

Artem Taganov, founder and chief executive of a Russian start-up called HintEd, said he knew about 70 founders of Russian companies who, like him, had fled to Armenia. If the entrepreneurs live in Russia, he said, their companies can only serve the domestic market.

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