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RBC: TikTok offered to let Russian employees move abroad to evade the draft

Source: RBC

After the start of Russia’s mobilization campaign in September, TikTok’s management in Russia offered to let employees move to Kazakhstan, Armenia, or Kyrgyzstan, the news outlet RBC reported, citing two sources from TikTok and one former employee of the company.

Russian TikTok employees who didn’t want to remain in Russia were reportedly told that they could move to a neighboring country, but that they would have to pay all travel expenses themselves.

In mid-October, the company reportedly gave its employees permission to move to any country that would grant them a work permit — though they would first have to return to Russia to sign an additional contract.

Before the start of the war, TikTok’s Russian office had 200–300 employees. After the company suspended operations in Russia, some of its employees stayed on the payroll and began working on teams that covered other international regions. Now, according to one of RBC’s sources, approximately one third of Russian TikTok employees live abroad.

In March, TikTok banned Russian users from uploading new content or conducting livestreams, citing the country’s law against “disinformation” about the Russian army.

According to the media research company Mediascope, as of the end of September, TikTok’s monthly reach in Russia among people older than 12 years old was 63.3 million users. That’s 18 percent more than in September 2021, but slightly less than in March 2022.

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