Exclusive-Ukraine to seek support from 50 more tech firms, push on gaming, cloud, infrastructure

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(Reuters) -Ukraine plans to urge about 50 more tech companies, including in gaming, esports and internet infrastructure, to take action against Russia, a top Ukrainian government tech official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Software giant Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) responded within three hours on Wednesday to a tweet from Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation calling on it to stop doing business in Russia.

Deputy digital minister Alexander Bornyakov showed the company’s just-posted tweet during a video interview, which said the company had “already suspended all operations in the Russian Federation”. EA Games also on Wednesday said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) it was removing Russian teams from FIFA soccer games.

“More sanction imposed, faster peace restored,” Bornyakov said of his ministry’s campaign, wearing a hoodie and sitting in front of Ukrainian flags.

Oracle did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Ukraine has sought help from about 50 companies since Russia’s invasion began last week, Bornyakov said. The outreach, which has included tweets from Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, has helped bring the besieged country Starlink internet satellites from entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX and new restrictions on Russian state media by YouTube and other social media services.

The appeals to tech companies are part of a broader strategy by Ukraine to isolate Russia and get people in the country to turn against their government and protest the war.

An “IT army” of people at home and abroad, partly organized by the digital ministry through the messaging app Telegram, has disrupted access to Russian government websites and contacted 50 million Russian civilians through social media, phone, text messages with information about the invasion, Bornyakov said.

He claimed the volunteer online forces now numbered more than 250,000 people.