As the world’s work marketplace, Upwork’s mission is to create economic opportunities so people have better lives, and Upwork prioritizes our team members, community, and customers above all else. From the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Upwork has been fervently working to support the safety, security and well-being of our team members in the region, as well as the business needs of our customers. Human lives and economic livelihoods are at stake as we continue to resolutely stand with Ukraine against Russia’s unprovoked war.
Today, Upwork announced the suspension of all business operations in Russia and Belarus, taking full effect by May 1, 2022, and starting with shutting down Upwork support for new business generation in both countries. Over the next few days, freelancers and clients in Russia and Belarus will no longer be able to sign up for new accounts, initiate new contracts, or be visible in search. We honor the relationships that exist between our customers and recognize the swift adjustments that they will need to make as they process this announcement. As such, existing contracts with talent and clients in the region will remain open, with final billing due by May 1, 2022.
We made this decision with the utmost consideration and fully understand the significant impact this decision has on our Upwork community in Russia and Belarus. If and when these customers are able to relocate to regions where we operate, we will support them in continuing their work on our platform. Additionally, should the geopolitical situation in Russia and Belarus change, we hope to be able to resume operations.
Upwork is concurrently working on measures – both immediate and rolling out soon – to further support Ukrainian freelancers and the Ukrainian community, including:
- A $1 million donation to Direct Relief International in support of the Ukrainian population.
- Product enhancements to make it easier for Ukrainian freelancers to preserve the careers they have worked so hard to establish, whether or not they are currently able to work.
- Programs to make it easier for clients to maintain their existing relationships with and provide financial assistance to talent in Ukraine.
- A $100,000 matching program for donations from our own team members to aid in humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
While we continue to navigate these crucial decisions and actions, you can view communications via our Community Resource page, which we are updating frequently with new developments and FAQs.
Our hearts and support go out to all those affected by this senseless war against Ukraine. We hope that a path to peace is ahead for Ukraine, and that we are able to bring our mission back to Russia and Belarus in the future.