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Nvidia finally pulls shutters down on its Russian offices

Remaining employees can continue work in different countries, though they'll struggle to get a flight out

GPU maker Nvidia is shutting down its operations in Russia following its earlier decision to stop selling products there. The company is said to be offering employees the chance to continue working for it in another country.

Nvidia had already suspended all product shipments to Russia back in March over the country's invasion of Ukraine, but had apparently maintained an office presence in Russia in order to support its local employees and their families, the company said.

However, the GPU giant said in a statement issued on Monday that it was now ceasing all activities and closing its offices in Russia, saying that "with recent developments, we can no longer operate effectively there," adding: "All employees will be given the option of continuing their jobs in other countries."

It is understood that Nvidia had at least 300 employees working for the company in Russia before the invasion, and it is believed that there were at least 200 people left before the closure was announced.

For those employees that do not want to or are unable to move to a different location, the company is said to be offering severance pay.

After Russia began drafting new troops on 22 September, flights from Moscow and St Petersburg sold out for days and airspace restrictions and a "dramatic" decrease in international flight options meant prices for those leaving the country skyrocketed, according to air traffic news site FlightRadar. EU airspace remains closed to departing flights.

Nvidia blamed the war in Ukraine for having an impact on its first quarter revenue figures for 2022 back in May. CFO Colette Kress said at the time that the company's outlook for the second quarter also included an estimated reduction of approximately $500 million relating to Russia and the COVID lockdowns in China.

Last month, the US government banned both AMD and Nvidia from selling some kit such as GPUs used for accelerating AI and machine learning to either Russia or China.

Meanwhile, the UK government has also imposed further sanctions of its own following the annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia by Russia. The ban covers IT consultancy and a range of other professional services.

Nvidia's decision to completely shut up shop in Russia follows similar moves from many other technology companies, including IBM, which wound up its Russian operations in June, and networking giant Cisco, which also pulled out of Russia and Belarus in June. Oracle and SAP suspended their respective operations in Russia back in March. ®

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