Here at Synder, we’ve been saddened by the situation in Ukraine and fully stand with Ukraine against the aggression of Russia.
In this blog post we wanted to share some details of how we see the situation. We were first met with this horrible war while at an e-commerce conference in Boston. Even though the conference was devoted to the topic of online sales, there were a lot of rumors around the potential war but no one believed it could happen in the 21st century after what the world had already experienced in the 20th century with all the wars that took place. Unfortunately, we, and many other people around, could not imagine that this could be true.
Having our headquarters in San Francisco, we were always focused on serving our US clients, but not only them – you can also find Synder users in the UK, Canada, Australia and continental Europe. We are eager and will always stand on our principles of making our users’ lives easier and their business accomplishments more vivid and efficient with the solution we are developing for them. But, on February 24th we were forced to refocus our team that was working remotely and spread across the globe. Unfortunately, this also included the region of the conflict where we had our R&D team located (Belarus and Ukraine). These locations were developing a lot of talent and allowed many bright people to join our Synder family, but February 24th changed things completely. Now, the only goal on our minds was to make sure our teammates were safe. People including our clients, partners, and our teammates, are our top priority, as everything we’re building and dreaming about is meant to make people’s lives better. Our motto is not just a bunch of words for us, this human approach has formed our mission from day one: “Machine accuracy. Human approach”
So, here is what we had to do to make sure our teammates and their families stayed safe:
- Moved teammates who were at risk in Ukraine and Belarus regions to our offices in European Union
- Volunteered and helped with refugee efforts
- Provided housing for refugees
- Donated money to the supported causes mentioned further in this post
Recently we received a bunch of questions about the situation and we believe it’s important to talk about our views regarding what’s happening in Ukraine, but more than that, we believe it’s important to take action and it’s better if it’s done together!
In the first days of the conflict we made public posts to all of our social media channels to tell our network that we are standing with Ukraine against the Russian aggression.
We are not supporting Russia by any means, including taxes, and we do not have any business relationships with the Russian Federation. This country has never been our focus and we had no plans to go to that region in the future.
It is true that we have teammates with Belarussian citizenship, but due to the political and humanitarian situation in the region, our Belarus office moved to our European Union offices located in Poland and Lithuania. With no enthusiasm we are stating today that there are no more plans to develop an office in Belarus due to high risks both in reputation and operations. The good news is that we’ve been able to keep moving forward with no interruption to our roadmap, so our clients will not face any challenges and can expect new functionality and enhancements to arrive soon.
Our team members’ stories
As a global company, we have team members from all around the world, including several previously living in Ukraine. To have a clearer understanding of how this conflict touched us personally, we’ve decided to share just a couple of stories of what our employees have endured.
Of course these are not the only stories. There are thousands of similar or worse stories that happened and are still happening in Ukraine today. However, we hope that by reading these, it will give you a clearer picture as to why it is a personal matter to us and why we call on our clients, partners, and the whole community to join efforts and help Ukraine.
I lived in Belarus, but from the first time I stepped foot in Ukraine, I fell in love with the country’s beauty and culture. Daily life in Kyiv was dynamic, modern, and rapidly evolving. The freedoms and rights I lacked in Belarus were plentiful in Ukraine. Before the war, I had settled into an ideal work/life balance rhythm.
However, like many others, my life was turned upside down when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Because of people like our CEO Michail, and my team manager and leads like Pavel, and Olga, I was able to make it to the border and into Poland. Once in Poland, the Synder team provided me with full support, housing, and necessities. Without the help and support of Synder, I have no idea how the last 2 months would have gone.Platon Sinitsyn’s Story
My girlfriend and I had been living in Belarus but decided it was time to move to a different region. We chose to move to Ukraine because of the kindness of the people, and their hospitality. A sense of calmness and community radiated throughout the city we were living in. However, the peace was quickly torn apart by the sound of air-raid sirens and explosions on the outskirts of Kyiv.
As we quickly gathered our most important belongings, we found others who were trying to escape the attack and left for the border of Poland together.
Our journey to Poland was intense and even resulted in us changing cars several times. The very task of finding a car along the way was difficult and stressful—cars were breaking down, people were disoriented and fleeing in a panic and it was hard to agree with anyone so that we could continue to Poland without huge delays. The time was ticking and we didn’t know if we are going to make it or if the chasing bomb attacks would cover the region soon and all movements and evacuation would rapidly stop. So, to find a vehicle was the top priority task. It may sound simple but you can imagine how hard it becomes when everyone is looking for it and transport becomes a critical demand. While we were making our way to safety, many people from other countries were there to help us. I was in contact with our CEO, Michael, throughout the entire time, and Pavel took care of all things for us when we arrived in Poland. The team did everything within their capability to help. Now I can confirm that we are safe and can make further plans. We are planning to stay in our R&D in Wroclaw for a while but then we will decide where it is better for us to settle. Luckily, our company is able to offer several options for us.Mikhail Ketov’s Story
There are other stories that we could share. It might be impossible for us to understand having to leave your house and move to another country for any reason but your own will… It’s a terrible thing to endure and our thoughts are with all those affected by this conflict. We hope this terrible war will stop as soon as possible!
Ways you can join Synder in supporting those affected by the war in Ukraine
In situations like this, most people feel helpless and unsure how to support those affected. Here are a few of the trusted organizations to consider donating to that are doing great things for those affected by the war, and that have our full support:
- Razom for Ukraine – Tactical medical training and emergency response
- Help Ukraine – Supplying medical supplies, food, hygiene products for babies and moms
- National Bank of Ukraine – Raising funds to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces
- The Voices of Children Foundation – assistance to affected children and families from all over the country, providing emergency psychological assistance, and assisting in the evacuation process
The Synder team has been actively supporting these causes as well as helping individuals affected by this situation. We’d love you to join us in making a difference and contributing to causes that are helping the people of Ukraine with food, shelter, and other needs.