Blog / Company and culture

We Stand With Ukraine

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Aaron Katz, Yury Izrailevsky and Alexey Milovidov
Mar 31, 2022

We Stand with Ukraine

ClickHouse is vehemently opposed to and condemns the war of aggression in Ukraine waged by Vladimir Putin and his regime. All of us at ClickHouse are shocked and disgusted by these brutal and shameful acts of violence. We stand united with all Ukrainians whose lives have been shattered by this invasion.

Many Russians strongly oppose the actions of Putin’s regime, and have been entangled in a war not of their choice or doing. Our own employees, many of whom are of Russian origin, deplore and abhor the actions of this oppressive regime. We stand with our team and offer them our uncompromising support.

There have been a lot of incorrect statements, and misunderstanding, involving the relationship between ClickHouse, Inc. and Russia. Let’s put that to bed. ClickHouse, Inc. is a Delaware company with headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have no operations in Russia, no Russian investors, and no Russian members of our Board of Directors. We do, however, have an incredibly talented team of Russian software engineers located in Amsterdam, and we could not be more proud to call them colleagues.

The formation of our company was made possible by an agreement under which Yandex NV, a Dutch company with operations in Russia, contributed ClickHouse and the engineering team behind it, to a US-based, venture capital backed startup, with its headquarters in Silicon Valley. From the start, the plan was for the Russian engineering team to relocate to Amsterdam. When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the majority of our Russian engineers had already relocated to Amsterdam, but some had not. We reacted by accelerating the relocation of our colleagues out of Russia as fast as we could, and feel so fortunate that as of the date of this blog post, that process has been completed.

However, until that process was complete, we made the decision to largely refrain from broadcasting our views on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as we wanted to ensure our people and their families were safely out of Russia before making the sort of strong public condemnation Putin’s actions require.

Statement from Aaron Katz, our CEO:

Let me start by personally condemning Russia’s senseless and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. It violates international law and has caused incalculable human suffering.

When I was approached with the idea of spinning ClickHouse out of Yandex, the first thought that went through my mind was: how can I unleash the potential of ClickHouse while distancing the company from Russia? While I believed strongly in the power and potential of the technology, the idea of me and a dozen unknown engineers in Moscow coming together to create a company seemed quite obscure. As I spent more time with Alexey Milovidov, the creator of ClickHouse, the idea of creating ClickHouse, Inc., an independent company, started to take shape. When Yury Izrailevsky decided to join us and run product and engineering, any uncertainty I held quickly dissipated as I have long considered Yury one of the most talented engineering leaders in our industry.

Building a distributed and diverse team has always been our vision since the company’s inception. Today, we have over 70 employees living around the world in the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia, and Israel.

Questions have circulated about the governance and control of our company. Hopefully our comments above address any remaining questions folks may have.

We hope that this information is helpful to our community and clarifies our position, and we join the rest of the world in hoping for a peaceful resolution to this unprovoked invasion, one which acknowledges the incredible injustices that have been faced by the Ukrainian people. We admire their courage, their resilience, and their fortitude in the face of such a senseless and cowardly act, and have contributed to UNICEF, the UN Refugee Agency, and Voices of the Children to assist with humanitarian efforts on the ground.

I am excited about our future, the future of our community, customers, and partners. I am grateful for the opportunity to work on bringing this breakthrough technology openly and freely to the world alongside our incredible and resilient team.

Statement from Yury Izrailevsky, our President and Head of Product and Engineering

This brutal invasion, and the humanitarian disaster that it is causing in Ukraine, defies belief. I come from an Ukrainian Jewish family, and these events are deeply troubling to me at a very personal level. Seeing video footage of bombed out buildings in Kyiv, right where I used to visit my grandparents while growing up, is a surreal experience. I hope for an immediate stop to this war and return to peace and security for the Ukrainian people.

I moved to the US as a high school student three decades ago and I am a proud US citizen. I was educated in the US and I’ve spent my entire professional career in Silicon Valley, working for companies like Google, Netflix and Yahoo. When the opportunity came up to co-found ClickHouse, together with my old friend Aaron Katz and a new-found friend and brilliant engineer Alexey Milovidov, I jumped on it immediately. Turning ClickHouse, the fastest analytics database, into what we believe will become the best cloud-native serverless analytics platform, has been the most exciting experience of my career.

We founded ClickHouse in the United States, using our collective Silicon Valley experience. ClickHouse is fundamentally a global company, where we bring together the best talent from all over the world. We are excited to work with Alexey and several other amazing Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian engineers, who are now safe and working in our Amsterdam office, alongside many more engineers based in the US, Germany, Israel, France, UK and other countries.

Statement from Alexey Milovidov, our CTO

My team and I created ClickHouse and made it open-source five years ago to be a global technology, used across the world without borders. We have spent years building a diverse distributed community and I am proud that ClickHouse helps businesses and people in Europe and Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia, Russia and Ukraine…

The news of February 24th came as a deep shock to me. I strongly condemn Putin’s war in Ukraine and dream that it ends as soon as possible with the defeat of the aggressor and peace and prosperity in Ukraine.

We have no infrastructure, servers or people in Russia. The original engineering team successfully moved out of Russia and are now working in our Amsterdam office.

When you create an open-source project, you are building a technology without borders — software that is for everyone, and a community that exists everywhere. Implicitly, acts of war, invasion, and violence stand in opposition to that vision. We join the rest of the world in hoping for a swift and just end to this conflict.

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