Channel News

The 10 Biggest News Stories Of 2022

Rick Whiting

Many of the biggest news stories this year, including supply chain disruptions, economic uncertainty and the adoption of hybrid work practices, are repercussions from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

No. 10: IT Companies Shutter Russia Operations In Wake Of Ukraine Invasion

On February 24, Russia shocked the world when it launched an attack on neighboring Ukraine, sparking a war that has dragged on for more than 10 months. The invasion spurred a wave of denunciations, economic sanctions and other actions, primarily from the U.S., Canada and European countries.

In the days and weeks following the invasion, many of the IT industry’s biggest companies began to disengage from Russia in protest of the invasion. Initially, many halted sales of IT products to Russia and then, over time, shut down their operations within that country.

Just days after the invasion Dell Technologies announced that it had suspended all product sales to Russia. “It’s a great tragedy and very disappointing to see a humanitarian disaster,” CEO Michael Dell said in an interview with CRN. “On everybody’s mind is the situation in Ukraine. Obviously, we’re thinking about all those that are affected and focused on the welfare of our team. That’s our top priority. It’s a horrible situation.”

A short time later Dell committed $15 million to support Ukrainian families through the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. (On Aug. 29 Dell Technologies announced that it had closed all of its offices in Russia and ceased all business operations within the country.)

In the immediate wake of the invasion many IT vendors instituted sales bans on Russia and halted product shipments to the country including HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft and IBM-owned Red Hat. In the following months as the war dragged on IT vendors, including HP, HPE, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and IBM, all announced plans to close their offices in Russia and cease all operations there.

Some of the industry’s biggest systems integrators and solution providers also shut down their business operations in Russia. Accenture said it would discontinue its business in Russia and made plans to support its 2,300 employees within the country. DXC Technology exited the Russian market in April and relocated many of its 4,000 Ukrainian workers to safer areas. And EPAM Systems announced in early April that it would exit its Russia business, a task it estimated would take three months.

The withdrawal proved to be a complex undertaking for some. In October SAP acknowledged that its Russia exit was delayed as it sought a buyer for its maintenance business. That same month, Extreme Networks discovered that – without its knowledge – its products were shipped to a sanctioned Russian weapons maker through a Russian distributor.


Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at

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