US tech company in Ukraine: Employees volunteer to fight Russia

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A handful of San Francisco-based JustAnswer employees in Ukraine immediately volunteered to join Ukraine's military in defending the nation against Russian forces, CEO Andy Kurtzig told FOX Business.

"Our people want to fight for their freedom. And, they’re willing to die for their country," he said. 

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Ukrainian servicemen walk at fragments of a downed aircraft seen in in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. ( AP Photo/Oleksandr Ratushniak / AP Newsroom)

JustAnswer, an online question-and-answer service, has over 200 employees in Ukraine. Of those employees, four have already volunteered to fight, while another employee with prior medical experience has already tracked east to help out as a paramedic, Kurtzig said. 

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Kurtzig said people in Ukraine have been fighting for their freedom for hundreds of years and have made significant progress within the last three decades. 

Ukrainian soldiers take positions in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.  (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti / AP Newsroom)

Their decision to do so came well before Head of Lviv regional customs Daniil Menshikov wrote in a Facebook post that Ukraine would not allow men aged 18 to 60 to leave the country. 

"An urgent message!! To the attention of citizens!!" Kurtzig said. "Due to the military state, men – citizens of Ukraine, aged 18 to 60 will not be released outside our state. Please do not create panic and do not try to cross the border on your own!" 

In the coming days, as the fighting progresses, he expects even more employees to join their co-workers in wanting to fight. 

If employees are drafted, Kurtzig said the company will continue to pay 50% of their salaries on top of the salaries they will get from the military. 

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However, the company is getting support from its employees from all over the world, which are donating to Ukrainian causes, all of which are medical and military-oriented.

The company is planning on matching all employee donations that come in. Kurtzig is also dipping into his own funds to match donations on top of that.

"Our number one priority is to support our Ukraine employees," he added. "They want to defend their freedom, and we felt this was the best way to support their efforts. We’re grateful to be able to help them fight for their country." 

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