A number of high-tech companies are withdrawing products, cutting services and restricting access to Russia.
Companies like Netflix, Uber, Cisco and more are making it harder for Russians to access some of the world’s most used technology. All are designed to connect the world.
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“It’s not meant to destroy lives and freedom,” Nick Bilogorskiy of the South Bay nonprofit New Ukraine told ABC7 News. “And it’s not meant to be used by Russia as a war machine or a propaganda machine.”
Bilogorskiy said that was the motivation behind the rally scheduled for Saturday at San Jose City Hall. Part of the message will be to thank companies that have already taken action.
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Apple suspends the sale of physical products in Russia, among others. Google helps defend against Russian cybersecurity threats. Airbnb is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus and offering free accommodation to Ukrainians forced to leave.
“What we think we can do is provide housing for 100,000 refugees,” said Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. “But to be honest, we can house as many people as we have guests.”
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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion highlights the importance of tech companies in times of conflict.
“The world is connected. You can’t go anywhere in the world without seeing the same product, the same lingo, the same influencers,” said Ahmed Banafa, technology expert from San Francisco State University. Jose at ABC7 News. “And now you come in and act like this, and you think you can just live without the world? You’ve completely cut yourself off from it. You can’t survive.”
Banafa said innovation in Silicon Valley is, in a sense, another weapon being used today.
Ukrainian tech workers living in Silicon Valley said cutting access to Russia would take away the tools needed to wage war.
“Stop the money coming to them,” said Bay Area resident Denys Mamrak. “They cannot go back into shelling and shelling Ukrainian citizens, Ukrainian people.”
“My first instinct was to go back to Ukraine and fight there. I felt that I had to be there. But then I realized that I was not undergoing military training,” he said. for follow-up. “I’ve never done military service, and most likely I’ll be a burden. I won’t be useful at all.”
Mamrak may not fight on the physical front lines, but he finds purpose by attending anti-war rallies and donating to humanitarian aid resources.
The software engineer has been a Bay Area resident for five years. However, he explained that his family was still back in Ukraine.
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“I wish I could say they are safe, but they are not. Currently there is no safe place in Ukraine,” he said.
Mamrak added: “It’s a horrible thing to hear when you call your friends on the phone and hear explosions in the background.”
Saturday’s event at San Jose City Hall begins at 2 p.m.
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