December 06, 2022

Yandexit


Yandexit
Yandex HQ, in brighter times. The Russian Life files.

On November 25, Yandex announced that it would be undergoing a major restructuring that would effectively lead to its exit from Russia.

Since 2019, the Russian government has been increasing its control over Yandex, placing it under the influence of the state-owned Sberbank. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February and censorship tightened, Yandex came under further fire from the state.

The November 25 announcement revealed that much of Yandex's functions would be subsumed by a new company and led by a new head who is close to Putin. Meanwhile, its holding company, based in the Netherlands, would effectively be elbowed out. Yandex's founder has been living in Israel since the conflict in Ukraine began.

Yandex has for decades been Russia's premier web company, with services ranging from web search and food delivery, to shopping and translation. But perhaps, given the chilly climate for information flow in Russia these days, this kind of shift was inevitable.

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