Slowly but surely, Russia seems to be running out of IT staff. But apparently the Kremlin has already found a suitable solution. Without further ado, prison inmates with sufficient IT skills are to be deployed.
Skilled labor shortage in Russia’s IT sector
The Ukraine war has been going on for over two months now and there is still no end in sight. However, with growing Western support for Ukraine, soldiers on the ground are now able to do more to counter the Russian attackers. In addition to the military problems on Ukrainian territory, there is another problem within Russia that is likely to cause headaches for head of state Vladimir Putin. Since the beginning of the war of aggression, which has been outlawed worldwide, more and more IT specialists have left Russia. This has had an extremely negative impact on the country’s economy, which has already been weakened by Western sanctions.
But the Kremlin now seems to be resorting to a lifeline that appears to be anything but orthodox. Apparently, it wants to oblige prison inmates to do the corresponding work. At least, this is what Brian Krebs, who works as a journalist in the IT sector, reports. For his part, he refers to reports in the Russian media. According to these, many authorities are currently recruiting offenders with previous knowledge of IT. They are supposed to work as specialists from prison. What may sound like an attractive additional income for the inmates may rather be understood as a modern form of forced labor.
Russia’s desperate search
The problem facing the Russian IT industry is probably not new. Currently, there are said to be close to 95,000 vacancies advertised on the Russian labor market. But in the wake of the Ukraine war, this problem has become even more acute. Since IT workers also have access to Western media thanks to VPN and contact with international colleagues, many of them quickly realized that Russian state media were increasingly spreading propaganda surrounding the Ukrainian war. To date, up to 170,000 IT staff are said to have left the country – and the number is rising.