The Irish capital has attracted thousands of Russian speakers from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus – skilled IT professionals and their families – over the past decade, drawn to the city by employment at companies American tech giants in Dublin like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Twitter. For example, Google has about 4,000 permanent employees in its Dublin office, and about 10 of these are understood to be Russian-speaking programmers, engineers, and sales executives.
Unlike the ostentatious Russian speakers in London, Russian speakers in Dublin tend to be low-class, middle-class, educated and highly integrated into Irish society.
In addition to working in technology, many of them are working in well-paying jobs such as lawyers, architects, doctors and tour guides.
Muscovite Andrey Tarakanov moved his family to Dublin in 2016 after his company, which participates in international clinical trials, was identified by Enterprise Ireland as “a high-potential startup” with ambitions The world can scale quickly.
“It was an unimaginable situation for me as a visitor,” said Tarakanov, chief executive officer of Corex Clinical Logistics, which has offices in Moscow, Kyiv, Minsk, Dublin and Tbilisi. from the Soviet Union.
“I’m sure no one would have imagined that two countries that were so close together would become enemies.”
Mr. Tarakanov, who was previously a medical doctor in Moscow, reconnected with Ukraine and Ukrainian friends in 2008 after starting his business there.
“I am full of fond memories of having a good time with my parents and friends during the wonderful summer holidays in Odesa and Kyiv,” he said.
“My parents have many Ukrainian friends. After the Soviet Union collapsed, we got lost. But in 2008, when I started my business in Ukraine, we reconnected.”
His priority at this time was to continuously monitor the health of his Corex colleagues and their families entangled in the conflict.
“Their safety remains our top priority,” he said. “We are doing our best to help them with their needs and provide financial support.”
Like many others in the Russian-speaking community here, Mr. Tarakanov and his wife are actively involved with Medical Help Ukraine, an organization set up by doctors in Ireland to arrange the supply, transportation and shipping vital medical supplies into Ukraine.
Mr. Tarakanov, who lives with his family in Castleknock, said: “My team has spent the past few days determining how we can support not only Ukrainian members but also others from Ukraine. “For us, we feel important to help in a way that is close to our hearts. We are looking for ways to make medicines available, especially to those in Ukraine, who need them the most.”
Corex is one of a number of startups and SMEs that have moved to Ireland with the help of IDA. The agency’s Competitive Startup Fund is open to startups from around the world, but more than a third of its hundreds of applications come from Russia or Russian-speaking countries.
Like many of her Russian-speaking colleagues at tech companies in Dublin, a Google senior, Inna Khlon has roots and a personal history deeply entwined with both Russia and Ukraine.
Born in Ukraine, her parents moved to Moscow from Vinnytsia, central Ukraine, when she was 8 years old in search of a better life and better future for her daughter, who won a scholarship to the University of The prestigious Moscow General University (MGU). .
“Moscow gave my parents a chance, and they overcame their fear that they would be poor again,” she explains.
“Whatever I am doing now – working for Google in Dublin and previously for McKinsey and Raiffeisen Bank in Europe for 13 years – the base is built by the Russian education system.”
Ms. Khlon moved to Europe in 2009 out of frustration with the political situation. She originally wanted to travel and use her language abilities to look for new opportunities in Austria.
“At work, I’m trying to present my point of view as being Ukrainian and having Russian citizenship and bringing to light that not everyone in Russia agrees with the war.”
Ms. Khlon and several of her colleagues are pooling their resources to collect the profiles of Ukrainians who have fled the war as well as Russians who are leaving their country in terror of the war. .
“What struck me about the Irish business world is that there doesn’t seem to be much discrimination about your nationality compared to my experience elsewhere. I got work permits in Austria and Singapore and the experience in Ireland was the simplest and shortest. ”
“There’s a Russian-speaking community in Dublin and it’s easier for Ukrainians, Russians and Belgians to connect when you share culture and memories – and that has helped me a lot. [when I moved here]. ”
Unlike reports in other European countries, Ms Khlon, who lives in Rathmines with her Russian partner, has not witnessed or heard of any Russian phobia since the invasion. or any speculation about the cancellation of work permits or the deportation of Russians.
“Most of my friends are currently fleeing the country [Russia] because it’s not safe and they’re leaving behind whatever they have. They are also carrying enormous guilt and self-blame for being silent and blaming themselves – like me – that we were part of the invader and that I came from the invader’s country. comb. ”
Protest, an anti-Putin channel founded in Ireland a few years ago on Telegram, a Russian social media platform, has seen its membership grow from 50 members to more than 300 since when the war started. Its members, coming from all over the former Soviet Union, are coordinating to send trucks with humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian border and provide refuge for those feeling the war.
“There are no financiers in Dublingrad. The majority of our members are ordinary Ukrainians and Russians, in addition we have Belarussians and some Kazakhs,” said organizer Irina, who is of Russian descent.
“We speak the same language, but we also share the common European values that this war will not happen in 2022.”
Alex Mittelman, a senior executive at an international technology company in Dublin who was born in Russia, was dismayed by the “senseless violence and huge wave of destruction” brought on by Putin’s forces. caused in Ukraine.
Mr Mittelman, who previously worked at Google in Dublin, feels a “moral obligation” to take part in anti-war protests and help organize care packages for Ukraine.
“It seems to me that the entire Russian-speaking community in Ireland is quite united in opposing this war,” said Mittelman, who lives in Milltown, Dublin with his Russian wife.
“I saw Russians, Belgians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs marching and of course a lot of Irish people expressing their support.
“Most of my free time now is spent protesting and I have met dozens of Russian-speaking friends from big tech companies and startups outside the GPO and Russian embassies.”
Oksana Halby, a Ukrainian IT professional living in Ireland, was struck by the sympathy of the Russians she and her husband Dmitri met during the anti-war protests.
“We met a Russian couple on the march to Leinster House and they were completely supportive, and we have been in touch with them,” said Ms. Halby, who lives in Rush, in the north borough of Dublin. know. “The Russians have also approached us at our local post office to express their sympathy.”
A week ago, she awoke to the news that her aging mother, Larysa, was stranded at home alone after the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson fell to Russian troops following a bomb attack.
Ms Halby, who has lived with her French husband in Ireland since 2010, said: “My mother is 77 years old and she walks with two canes after suffering a stroke.
“Normally my mother doesn’t go out much. She has two girls who will be visiting to help her and buy contingencies and medicine.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/ukrainians-and-russians-unite-in-dublin-to-oppose-putins-invasion-41437863.html Ukrainians and Russians unite in Dublin to oppose Putin’s invasion