While Ukrainians are being bombarded from Belarus, Playtika is throwing parties in Minsk
Playtika, an international company with a large office in Ukraine, has posted a video of a large-scale celebration in Minsk on Instagram. This event has angered Ukrainians working for the company. Playtika claims that it cares for and supports its employees in Ukraine, but at the same time, it has not yet closed its office in Belarus, from the territory of which Russian missiles regularly strike Ukrainians, including the company’s employees.
According to the description, Playtika arranged a movie night with catering, bar, disco, and other entertainment for its Belarusian employees. The video was noticed by Ukrainians indignant at the expensive party on the territory of the aggressor’s allied state.
Actually, this is not the only party to have been held in Belarus. While Ukrainian children are dying under fire, there have been parties in Minsk. The last post dedicated to Ukraine on the Playtika account is dated March 7, 2022.
Playtika’s stance on the war in Ukraine
Playtika is an Israeli company that makes $1 billion in net profit a year and has R&D offices in Ukraine (Kyiv, Dnipro, and Vinnytsia). There is also an office in Minsk. As of 2021, Playtika employed 1,000 people in its Ukrainian offices and 600 in Belarus. As the channel Konspekt reported, Playtika cut about 40% of its staff from its Ukrainian studio House of Fun in late May. In its comments to Globes, the company said that the 250 laid off employees were from offices in Montreal, London, and Los Angeles, and most of the Ukrainians were not fired but assigned to other projects or relocated to Romania.
The company claims to have supported Ukrainians in every way possible during the war:
“Ukraine has always been an integral part of our operation, and we have supported our employees throughout these tragic times,” Playtika representatives said in a commentary to AIN.Capital in June this year in response to the news about large-scale staff layoffs.
According to information sent to AIN.Capital by sources familiar with the situation, Playtika did not disclose details of its war response plan until the last moment. And after February 24, the company was unable to ensure the organized evacuation of employees who asked for it. Over time, when the situation stabilized somewhat, the Ukrainian workers received one-time financial aid and assistance with housing and employment in the cities of relocation. Playtika reported this on LinkedIn.
Playtika also reported donating $100,000 to the Red Cross Foundation for humanitarian aid during the war in Ukraine. It should be recalled that the Red Cross Foundation officially calls the war in Ukraine a “crisis,” and for almost six months, the organization has repeatedly provoked criticism from Ukrainians, in particular over its negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about opening a Red Cross center to help Ukrainian refugees… on Russian territory! That is the state that actually made them refugees. Also, we cannot ignore the case of water delivery to the city of Dnipro, which was not needed there. There is still the question of how effectively the money donated to the Red Cross Foundation is spent and whether it really helps anyone in Ukraine.
Playtika ignors the question in the comments whether it is going to close its office in Belarus. Currently, the site has seven job openings in Minsk and ten in Ukraine.
Playtika also did not explain its decision to keep the Belarusian office open to Ukrainians forced to keep working with its staff. According to AIN.Capital sources, the company simply does not talk about this, and the management evades direct questions.
AIN.Capital asked Playtika’s press office for a comment, but so far there has been no response.