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‘Contagious Courage’: Why a Silicon Valley Exec Went Back to Ukraine

By Brad Stone

09 Mar 2022 · 3 min read

Last month, Andrey Liscovich was living in San Francisco, devising a startup to help people finance expenses like education and healthcare. But that was before war broke out—before Ukrainian’s leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy captured the spirit of not just Ukrainian expats but many in Silicon Valley and around the world, who are rushing to help the country in its devastating war with Russia.

Liscovich was born and grew up in Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine, then obtained a PhD at Harvard University before going to work for Uber Technologies Inc. from 2017 to 2020. Like many former Ukrainians, he was inspired by vows from Zelenskiy, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko and other politicians that they would stay and fight the Russian invasion. “People who are bitter enemies in normal life were all aligned. I thought, well I can’t just sit this one out,” Liscovich told me Tuesday afternoon via a voice chat on the messaging app Signal. “I have to contribute in whatever way I can.”

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