With Warm Words and Fast Visas, Neighbours Woo IT Workers Fleeing Belarus | Technology News

By Ilya Zhegulev, Margaryta Chornokondratenko and Andrius Sytas

KYIV/VILNIUS (Reuters) – After Max Korolevsky said he was detained and beaten by security forces during mass protests in Belarus, he asked his IT company to transfer him to neighbouring Ukraine.

The 30-year-old, head of software testing at a technology firm he declined to name, is now in Kyiv, part of an exodus of workers from Belarus’ flourishing IT sector who are fleeing turmoil since a disputed Aug. 9 election.

Mass protests have rocked the country and represent the gravest threat to President Alexander Lukashenko’s rule since he took power 26 years ago.

Neighbouring countries from Ukraine to the Baltics have rolled out the welcome mat for people like Korolevsky and are wooing companies to relocate with fast-track immigration procedures, tax breaks and help finding office space.

Poland, for example, has set up a 24-hour hotline and offered fast visas, Polish language

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