After years of irredentist tension building, the last few weeks have been a living nightmare for the people of Ukraine. Many having to flee their country, others with no option but to stay and fight for their proudly democratic nation.
Our thoughts are with Ukraine, and as Hardware Pioneers stands in solidarity with everyone being affected by this atrocity we reflect on the technological achievements of its people.
Ukraine has produced an array of talent and is responsible for commonplace technologies, products and solutions that you may use every day. Forbes Ukraine’s tech editor, Mike Sapiton, shared a few to remind us of the immense impact that Ukraine and its entrepreneurs have made:
Jan Koum, a Ukrainian emigrant, co-founded Whatsapp. He was born in Fastiv, a place that Sapiton harrowingly reminded us that you can currently hear Russian rockets.
Snapchat not only has offices in Kyiv and Zaporizha, but acquired Looksery, which created its real-time masking technology. Looksery was co-founded through a sponsored contest in Ukraine, won twice by Yurii Monastyrshin.
It’s not just social media and communications platforms – financial companies such as PayPal originate from Ukraine as it was co-founded by Maksymilian Rafailovych Levchin. Vlad Yatsenko co-founded Revolut, who is from Mykolaiv, and many of Revolut’s staff are based in Ukraine.
Ukraine-based computer vision startup Traces.AI deploys its technology based on Artificial Intelligence to analyse over 2,000 physical traits of a person via security cameras.
Grammarly is now worth $13bn. Born from and founded by three Ukrainians, Max Lytvyn, Dmytro Lider and Alex Shevchenko, it still houses its largest development office in Kyiv.
GitLab, based in Ukraine, is one of the most widely used DevOps collaboration platforms. The Founders, Dmitriy Zaporozhets, Sid Sijbrandij created and built up a $394m company which delivered a single application that changed the way development, security, and ops teams collaborate and build software. Dmitriy Zaporozhets, Ukrainian born, recently exited the company.
It is impossible to articulate just the sheer amount of innovation that has been pioneered in Ukraine. A country brimming with technology and culture, we are thankful to Ukraine for the prosperity it has shared with the West.
What can we do?
We want to help and support in any way that we can. This page has been created to offer more information on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Amongst suggestions like donating or contacting your government, the importance of free speech is emphasised as contributions are requested for The Kyiv Independent.
If you are a host on Airbnb, you can get involved by offering free temporary stays for refuges. Click here for more information.
Jillian Kowalchuk, whose family are originally from Ukraine, founded Safe & The City. The i3 Intelligence platform has been tracking major war protests throughout the UK and Ireland. Jillian has encouraged people to help by donating to emergency responses.
Ukrainian Nina Levchuk has shared a number of ways in which people can offer aid, and has in fact launched a new website – UnitedForUkraine.org providing information for the Ukrainian people and refugees arriving in Europe.
People can also get in touch with – email@example.com if they are able to offer contacts, shelter, volunteering, legal aid or further engagement.
We hope that this conflict is short-lived. Much damage has already been done, but we stand with the people of Ukraine as they fret and fight for their lives and freedom.