Former Yandex employee arrested for allegedly funding Ukrainian military

According to the FSB allegations, the detained ex-Yandex worker “transferred personal funds to the account of a Ukraine-registered foundation for the purchase of armored vehicles, ammunition, equipment, and medicine” for Ukraine’s military.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained a former employee of Russian tech giant Yandex on suspicion of committing high treason by financially assisting the Ukrainian armed forces, state media reported Monday.

“The FSB has disrupted the illegal activities of a former Yandex LLC employee in the Nizhny Novgorod region,” TASS quoted the FSB’s press office as saying, without identifying the individual.

According to the FSB allegations, the detained ex-Yandex worker “transferred personal funds to the account of a Ukraine-registered foundation for the purchase of armoured vehicles, ammunition, equipment, and medicine” for Ukraine’s military.

He could face up to life imprisonment if convicted of the high treason charges for “providing financial assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine directed against Russia’s security,” TASS reported.

The high-profile arrest is the latest in a mounting crackdown in Russia against any perceived support or assistance for Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict. Dozens of Russians have been detained on charges related to spreading “fake news” about the military or criticizing the offensive.

Yandex is Russia’s largest internet company, operating a search engine, email service, food delivery, and numerous other services and products. The company has faced pressure to support Russia’s offensive and cut services in Ukraine.

Neither Yandex nor the arrested individual could be immediately reached for comment on the treason allegations involving funding of the Ukrainian military. The FSB provided no further details on the specifics of the suspected financial transfers.

Russian authorities have intensified a legal clampdown on any activities deemed to be discrediting the military as the invasion of Ukraine nears its 15-month mark. Critics say the treason laws have been abused to stifle dissent.