Monday, January 30, 2023

Russia risks IT workers flying into the new year with remote work law

by Alexander Marrow

MoscowJanuary 2 – The Russian IT sector risks losing more workers in the new year due to a planned law on remote work, as authorities try to bring back some of the tens of thousands of people who have completely severed their ties. Have gone abroad without doing so. ,

Having relatively mobile jobs, computer scientists figured prominently among the many Russians who fled after Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine on February 24 and were followed by hundreds of thousands who began a military mobilization in September .

The government estimates that 100,000 IT specialists currently work for Russian companies from abroad.

A law is now being debated earlier this year that could ban remote work in some businesses.

Hardline lawmakers fear more Russian computer scientists will end up working in Russia’s countries i will and has proposed banning some information technology experts from leaving Russia for inadvertently sharing sensitive security information.

But the Ministry of Digital Affairs said in December that a total ban could make Russian IT companies less efficient and therefore less competitive: “In the end, whoever can attract the most talented employees, including foreigners, wins.”

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While many disillusioned young Russians have fled to countries like Latvia, Georgia or Armenia where Russian is widely spoken, many have made the big leap: to Argentina.

Roman Tulnov, a 36-year-old computer scientist, says he has no intention of returning to Russia under any circumstances.

“I wanted to leave for a long time. Everything became clear on 24 February. I understood that there was no life in Russia anymore,” he said, particularly of the opportunity to work away from six time zones and keep his job. Credited with mobilization.

“Before mobilization, no one had thought of letting people go forward to go unrecognized.”

Vyacheslav Volodin, the powerful speaker of the Russian parliament’s lower house, or State Duma, has announced that he wants taxes to be increased for workers moving abroad.

Yulia, a 26-year-old product designer, estimates that a quarter of her team would rather resign than return to Russia under pressure.

“Such an ill-advised option is like negotiating with terrorists: ‘Come back or we will make your job impossible, and your company and employees,'” he said.

For some expatriate Russians it may even prevent them from paying taxes altogether. A 13% income tax is automatically deducted for resident employees, but those who work for Russian companies from abroad are left to fend for themselves.

Professional online poker player Sasha, 37, who is also a resident of Argentina, announced that he has stopped paying Russian taxes.

“When you pay taxes you support the state and its military expansion,” he said. “I do not pay and do not intend to.”

Nation World News Desk
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