Ukraine could block Russian “propaganda websites”

The Ukrainian authorities may block Russian web resources which they believe to be responsible for propaganda, as well as those linked to the Donbass insurgency.

“At the moment we are working at both the legal and technical level in order to follow the examples of Israel, America and China, closing down sites which pose a threat to our people,” said interior ministry aid Anton Gerashchenko earlier this week.

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Report: Illegal importation of IT-related products causes huge losses to Ukrainian budget

Last week the analytical firm IDC reported that losses in potential VAT revenue from the illegal importation of IT-related products, such as tablets, laptops, and phones from $233 million in 2013. Moreover, this figure does not take into account the related losses borne by the state when refunding nonexistent VAT to unscrupulous importers.

For the first half of 2014, losses to the budget decreased following a lower amount of  equipment imported and a slight decrease in the illegal importation of equipment.

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“From the third world to the first world:” Economic reforms to take center stage at Kiev gathering

Economists, reformers, public figures and businessmen are gathering in Kyiv (Kiev) to discuss potential models and tools for a much-needed Ukrainian “economic leap.” The First Kyiv International Economic Forum (KIEF) is set to take place on October 2 at the Hilton Kyiv Hotel in partnership with Ukraine Digital News.

The organizers and speakers will focus on bringing together authorities, experts and business to discuss economic policy, priority sectors and “growth points” of the new economy, including the high-tech sectors.

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Ukrainian fund Fison injects half a million dollars into e-commerce recommendation startup with global ambitions

The Ukrainian investment fund Fison has invested $500,000 in DataProm, a Kyiv (Kiev) -based startup developing data-driven recommendation solutions for online retailers. The deal – which valued the startup at $2 million – was closed in May but made public only last week.

“We’ve been paying attention to the Big Data segment for a long time already,” Fison’s co-founder Dmitry Vishnyov told Ukraine Digital News. “In contrast with the USA and Europe, there were practically no specialists and no projects in this field in Ukraine. We quickly found a common language with [the DataProm team] as soon as we discovered them.”

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Ukrainian government unveils 14 priorities for the reform of domestic IT industry

Earlier this week Dmitry Shimkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration for Administrative, Social and Economic Reform, and Economic Development Minister Pavel Sheremeta, presented the online platform Easybusiness in UA.

The platform – available in Ukrainian language only – displays tasks that are being worked on by the presidential team responsible for reform. A separate section on the site is dedicated to the IT sector, with 14 priority areas for anticipated reform already listed.

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Ukrainian tech sector to showcase its emerging talent in San Francisco

In a case of East meets West, the most dynamic representatives of Ukraine’s emerging tech industry are set to gather in the USA at the breakthrough U.T. Gem conference. The event will be held in San Francisco on September 18 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in partnership with Ukraine Digital News.

Ukraine has become one of the most efficient and cost-effective IT outsourcing markets in Europe, with the local outsourcing sector set to reach $4 billion in value by 2016. A well-educated and innovative IT workforce has attracted some of the world’s leading tech companies. Samsung, Huawei, Siemens, NetCracker and others have developed R&D centers in Ukraine.

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Ukrainian startup myTips receives $75,000 and a place at Californian incubator 500 Startups

The myTips team has been accepted into the famous American incubator 500 Startups, and has moved to San Francisco. The team received an investment of $75,000 from the incubator, and now intends to develop its business in the USA.

myTips is developing interactive online tutorials for complex interfaces without coding. Previously, the startup had already incubated in a famous foreign accelerator – London SeedCamp. From them, the team received an investment of 25,000 euros for 5% of the company and spent the funds on the development and refinement of its product.

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IT programmers and businesses run away from Donbass unrest

Due to the unrest in Eastern Ukraine, many programmers have run away from the Donbass region to other parts of Ukraine or abroad. Liga.Business reports that, as of early June, one-fourth of programmers had left the region, with most IT companies directing their employees to cities like Kyiv (Kiev), Uzhgorod, Lviv (Lvov), or even out of Ukraine altogether. All told, more than 1,000 IT specialists had reportedly left Donetsk as of 2 months ago.

StepInMobile, an agency dedicated to developing mobile apps, is one of these companies, as originally reported by Ukrainian online publication AIN.UA. Founded by Donetsk-native Denys Nikolayenko, the firm opened in 2012 and has maintained offices in Kyiv and the founder’s home city.

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IT programmer Ekatarina Zyryanova: “There are a lot of clever people in Donbass and it will be easy to recover the local IT industry”

Programmer Ekaterina Zyryanova, who lived in Kramatorsk, a war-torn city of the Donetsk region, for over 30 years, was forced to move to Western Ukraine to pursue a new life and career. She found a job in a Lviv (Lvov) based IT outsourcing company.

Zyryanova has been kind enough to share with Ukraine Digital News her harrowing experience of living in and relocating.

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Poroshenko unveils Instagram account while presidential website faces DDos attack

As Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others become ubiquitous, many Ukrainian leaders now communicate via social networks. Since the Maidan revolution these networks have even been used by several top officials to announce important government decisions.

Following the trend is Petro Poroshenko. The newly-elected Ukrainian president, who already maintained an official presence on Twitter and Facebook, last week announced the creation of his personal Instagram account. Thus far, the account mainly displays primarily photos of meetings with ministers and foreign dignitaries, but also images of Poroshenko and wife sharing tender moments and of the president visiting the troops.

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