Russia’s tech giant Yandex said unidentified armed men blocked entry and exit into its Minsk office. Yandex employs around 120 people in Minsk. While most of them are now working remotely, some employees are currently blocked in the office.
The news comes in the wake of major protests in the country following the presidential election which concluded on August 9. According to the official vote tally, incumbent Alexander Lukashenko won a landslide victory. However, the opposition has refused to accept the results.
“Riot police have violently suppressed demonstrations and arrested almost 7,000 people, with more than 250 protesters ending up in the hospital,” Meduza reports.
Yandex is a Russian company that is best known for its Yandex search engine. It also offers different types of products and services including online advertising, ride hailing, data management, Alice voice assistant, eCommerce, music streaming, and many more.
Earlier, over 500 tech CEOs and IT industry workers signed the collective letter demanding a new election, cessation of police violence and the release of political prisoners. If these demands are not met, IT companies threaten to move their businesses abroad. “Conditions are being formed in the country in which a tech business cannot function. Start-ups are not born in an atmosphere of fear and violence. Start-ups are born in an atmosphere of freedom and openness,” the letter said.