NtechLab founders Alexander Kabakov and Artem Cuhareno, who develop facial recognition technologies, left the company over disagreements with management and investors. The contractors themselves said Reuters.
According to them, the main disagreement was that they wanted NtechLab to stop all work in Russia and get the employees out of the country. The management of the company wanted to continue working in Russia.
“The majority of shareholders supported the management, so we had no choice but to leave the company,” Kukharenko said.
According to the company’s founders, they started discussions about stopping all projects in Russia after the poisoning of politician Alexei Navalny in August 2020.
“It became clear that the country was headed for disaster, although no one could have imagined that the country would start a war,” Kukharenko explained.
The two businessmen are not in Russia. One of the company’s founders left the country in December 2021, the second – in March 2022, shortly after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. In an interview with Reuters, they said they signed against the war.
In July 2022, the edition of CNews, citing sources writingthat Kabakov and Kukharenko left the management of the company. According to sources, this happened a few months ago.
Ntechab is a developer of facial recognition systems, one of the owners of the company is the state-owned company Rostec. The technology developed by the company is used in the Moscow City CCTV system. In 2020, the system spear in ten other Russian cities. With his help, the security forces arrested suspected criminals and opponents.
After February 24, 2022, Kabakov and Kukharenko were included in the “list of corrupt officials and warmongers” (“List of 6000”) maintained by the Anti-Corruption Foundation. After that, they passed information about NtechLab to associates of Alexei Navalny. They were quickly removed from the list. Leonid Volkov explained this decision by the fact that the company’s founders left it and issued a statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In October 2022, they were put back on the list. at FBK declaredthat “the repentance of Kukharenko and Kabakov was not public enough, and the information they provided is of incomparable importance with their contribution to building a police state”