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Russia risks causing IT worker flight with remote working law

Russia’s IT sector has been in flux. It could lose more workers to plans for remote working legislation. Authorities are working to attract some of the tens of thousands of people who left Russia, without making them re-engage with Russia.

Because IT workers can be mobilized, they were prominent among those fleeing Russia after Moscow sent its army into Ukraine on February 24, and the subsequent hundreds of thousands when a military order was issued in September.


Russian companies employ 100,000 IT professionals abroad, according to the government.

Legislation for this year is being considered, which could ban remote working in certain professions.

Hawkish lawmakers suggested that Russian IT specialists should be banned from leaving Russia because they are afraid of Russian IT professionals operating in NATO countries and potentially sharing sensitive security information.

The Digital Ministry however stated that a ban on Russian IT companies could lead to them being less efficient and therefore less competitive. “In the end who can attract the most talent from abroad will win.”


Many young Russians have left Russia because they are tired of the Russian language and moved to countries such as Georgia, Latvia, or Armenia. Others have made a bigger leap to Argentina.


Roman Tulnov, a 36-year-old IT specialist, said that he did not intend to return to Russia in any manner.

“I wanted to go for some time. Everything was clear by February 24, 2012. On February 24, 2012, he stated that he knew Russia was overpopulated. He thanked mobilization, for allowing him to work in six time zones while still being able to keep his job.

“Before mobilization no one thought of giving people the go-ahead for moving to where-knows.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the powerful head of Russia’s lower chamber of parliament or State Duma, has stated that he would love to see higher tax for those who have moved abroad.

Yulia, 26, is a product designer. She estimated that 25% would rather quit than be forced to return to Russia.

She stated that “such an alternative choice is somewhat similar to negotiating with terrorists: “Come back, or we’ll make your job impossible and for both your company and your employees’.”

Russian expatriates may be able to avoid taxes entirely. Personal income tax of 13% is deducted automatically from the employees of residents, but is not applicable to Russian-based workers.

Sasha, an online poker pro, hails from Argentina. He said that he no longer pays Russian taxes.

He stated that “When you pay taxes you support the state’s military expansion.” “I don’t pay taxes, and I don’t plan to.”

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