Russia’s shortage of key IT professionals has been worsening since the outbreak of the Ukraine war. The country, led by the Putin regime, blames it all on sanctions imposed by the West.
There is a shortage of 170,000 skilled workers
The fact that Russia is apparently suffering from a major shortage of IT specialists can be seen in some patterns of behavior. For example, we reported a few weeks ago that the country wants to force imprisoned IT professionals into forced labor to meet the demand. Russia is also trying to create incentives for IT professionals to remain in the country. Since most of them are afraid of being deployed to the front, the compulsory military service for IT specialists was abolished. However, the measures taken by the government do not seem to be that effective.
After all, the problem, which we have known about for a few weeks now, seems to be worse than ever and can finally be backed up with figures. And these look anything but rosy. A total of 170,000 IT specialists are said to be missing. In view of the approximately 1 million employees in Russia’s IT sector, this corresponds to a shortage of 17 percent. And the trend is rising. The figure was made public by Russia’s deputy interior minister, Igor Zubov, as reported by dpa.
Russia blames the West
Of course, the question arises as to why so many IT professionals are leaving the country. For Russia, however, the answer is clear. The West is to blame, it says. In particular, the sanctions imposed by NATO and EU countries in response to Russia’s war of aggression have literally driven IT specialists out of the country. Now Zubov seems to want to initiate a Plan-B. He asked the panel before which he made the figures public to support a new law. This should make it possible for IT specialists from abroad to work for the Russian IT industry. Specifically for this purpose, the people in question should be given uncomplicated access to a residence permit.
Companies hang up business in Russia
McDonalds, Apple, Microsoft – these are just three well-known corporations that ceased doing business in Russia in the wake of the war of aggression against Ukraine, which violated international law. This, of course, also caused the respective IT departments to collapse. Other companies, such as Deutsche Telekom, even brought their employees from Russia to Germany. The German Foreign Office says that hundreds of work visas have been issued for Russian IT specialists since the start of the war. It is questionable whether Russia really wants to acquire its IT specialists for civilian work or whether there is more to it than that. It is also possible that the giant country’s concern is to arm itself for cyberattacks that it or other countries may carry out. For example, Russia has encouraged the hacker group Killnet to launch attacks in the West.