Samsung's Ukraine headquarters damaged by Russian missile strike

R&D Center focuses on autonomous AI, otherwise known as On-Device AI

Samsung's Ukraine headquarters were damaged during a Russian attack on Kyiv that began Monday morning and which killed at least 14, injuring others.

The barrage of missiles, sent as retaliation for the destruction of the only bridge from Russia into Crimea, hit the city center and mostly civilian targets, including playgrounds and a university.

One missile hit approximately 150 meters from Samsung offices at 101 Tower, a skyscraper in Lva Tolstoho Street. The distance has led to speculation that the 101 Tower could be a circumstantial hit rather than a target itself.

According to Samsung, there were no casualties among staff in the tower where R&D and sales operations are conducted from the third and fourth floors.

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Samsung R&D Institute Ukraine vice president Andriy Fisunenko took to LinkedIn to confirm that his workplace had been damaged and colleagues had evacuated safely.

"Our R&D team keeps working and contributing its part of Ukraine's victory," said the vice president.

The Samsung R&D Ukraine center focuses on AI, augmented and virtual reality, and in particular, autonomous AI, otherwise known as On-Device AI.

"The task of such artificial intelligence is to protect users' private data and do everything that usually happens to them on cloud systems that are equipped with incomparably larger computing power and large data warehouses on a compact device," said Fisunenko at a conference in late 2021.

"There are projects that the headquarters distributes in view of our expertise: cybersecurity, On-Device AI. And there is an upward, proactive flow that can be reduced to four simple words: proposal, prototype, patent, product," added the vice president.

Samsung sent us a statement: "We can confirm that none of our employees at Samsung Ukraine has been hurt. Some of the office windows were damaged due to the impact from the blast that occurred 150 meters away. We remain committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and will continue to closely monitor the situation."

The South Korean government reportedly has expressed strong regret over the attack and confirmed no Korean citizens were hurt.

Samsung stopped exporting products to Russia in early March, citing geopolitical developments, despite taking 30 percent of the country's smartphone market share in Q4 2021. At the time of Samsung's withdrawal, Russian state media reported the suspension was temporary.

The removal of Samsung from the market reportedly left Russia with no choice but to purchase Chinese brands, like Huawei, Xiaomi and Realme, which also reportedly cooled their enthusiasm to avoid sanctions and ire from the West. ®

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