Russian search engine Yandex’s Ukraine offices raided for ‘treason’

Already under sanctions by the Ukrainian government, Russian search giant Yandex has been raided by the country’s security services.

The raids, in capital Kiev and the southern city Odessa, were conducted under the treason articles of the country’s criminal code, according to Russian state newsagency TASS.

Reuters says the basis of the complaint is that the company is collecting user data on Ukrainians and sending it back to Russia.

Yandex’s only statement was to confirm that “representatives of Ukraine’s Security Services” (the SBU) went to its offices in the two cities, adding that its lawyers would help with any investigation.

The SBU has posted a statement saying the information sent to Russia was “for use in reconnaissance and acts of sabotage”.

Prior to sanctions imposed earlier this month, Yandex claimed 11 million users in the Ukraine and had 320 staff in the country.

Earlier this month, Yandex joined social networks VK and Odnoklassniki, Kaspersky Labs and the Mail.ru e-mail service on a sanctions list proclaimed by Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. That list was drawn up in retaliation for Russia’s ongoing support for separatists in the east of the country and its annexation of the Crimea.

Poroshenko’s post (ironically on VK) said Russia’s ongoing interference in other countries (including France earlier this month) “show the time has come to act differently and more decisively”. He’s promised to end his own use of Russian sites.

When the ban was announced, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin said Russia hasn’t “forgotten about the principle of reciprocity”, according to The Guardian. ®

via The Register http://bit.ly/2rlrAeB

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