Vera Syrakvash

Policy Researcher

Degrees:MA (Higher School of Economics)
Office:Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Vera Syrakvash is an independent policy researcher (focus on migration and development) from Belarus and is currently based in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). Vera recently graduated from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics with an MA in Population and Development. This talk is based on her current work as a local research leader and lead researcher for the Turkey-Caucasus-Central Asia-China (TCCC) sub-project of Dr. Geiger’s (Carleton University) SSHRC- and Ontario-funded research project on high-skilled migration and innovation. Vera’s expertise lies in the field of gender and public administration, and the intersection of health, education, and migration. While most of her activities have focused on Eastern Europe, she is also globally connected to a wide network of NGOs and multi-stakeholder initiatives devoted to eliminating gender-based violence in all forms and is an emerging leading advocate for gender equality. In addition to her academic training and research work, Vera has a diverse professional background with practical experience in the implementation of projects promoting gender equality, in the training and advocacy of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and in related policy advice and policy-making.

Panel 5: Displacement in Eurasia: Beyond Ukrainians

Not Digital Nomads: Displaced and Self-Exiled Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Russian IT Specialists in Georgia and Turkey


Media reports and IT sector-related studies estimate that tens of thousands of IT specialists left Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion. The war on Ukraine also intensified an existing outflow of IT workers from Russia and Belarus, now self-exiling in neighboring countries, particularly in Georgia and Turkey. This talk presents ongoing research on the motives and strategies of the displaced and self-exiled IT specialists, as well as the reactions of Georgian and Turkish governments and industry stakeholders to the arrival of these specialists. Our joint findings are based on a media review and interviews with relevant stakeholders and Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Russian IT specialists.