On the latest episode of the ‘iGAMING FM’ podcast, industry figure Anna Dobrovolskaya suggested that the gaming sector should continue growing and retain its support for Ukraine.

Dobrovolskaya, who is the CMO of Internet Vikings – a global iGaming hosting provider –  talked to iGAMING FM host Stewart Darkin about her personal and professional experiences since the start of the war.

“When the war started, we decided the same morning that we will change our position,” said Dobrovolskaya, originally from the city of Poltava, who has temporarily moved to Stockholm with her parents and two children, having to leave behind a husband who volunteered to stay and fight.

“We were basically thinking before that. We were preparing, we had the emergency backpacks. Everyone hoped that it is for nothing and that everything will be fine. The morning at 5am when it started, I received my father’s call and said “Okay, let’s leave””.

In the weeks following the beginning of the conflict, Dobrovolskaya’s company and many other industry businesses with employees and interests in the region were faced with the choice of either continuing work as usual or shutting down in fear of being insensitive.

Dobrovolskaya stated: “We are still recruiting, we are still getting people in, and I just do know how strong people in Ukraine are. This is also our input to give the income in the Ukrainian economy, to pay taxes there and so on. That’s one part of the question,” she said.

“Another part is about the events. The situation will affect so many parts of the businesses in general, starting from the cost of every facility. It is so connected, it’s like normal economy will feel it, for sure.

“From the business perspective, I will recommend having a plan on how to mitigate the risks and maintain the business in a way that it won’t grow out into high costs.”

On the concept of conference gatherings during wartime, Dobrovolskaya commented that the industry needs to “be strong” and “keep moving”, as halting in one place deprives it from any real chance of providing firm support for people in need:

“And from another side – having the conferences. I think it’s important to keep every business model up-and-running. I believe that it’s possible to combine work and helping others. I really want people to not stop talking out loud about the situation. I do understand the importance of all the businesses.

“We need to be strong, we need to collaborate, keep moving, keep growing, keep closing the deals, keep marketing our business, keep doing the processes. And then, grow, get more outcome, and then probably help people in need with something,” she concluded.

Organisations within the gaming industry have been working together on a major fundraising push to help people displaced by the current military action in Ukraine.

The Gaming Industry for Ukraine initiative aims to raise £250,000 to support Choose Love’s Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser, which supports projects providing vital aid to the refugees that are being created by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

To make a donation to the Gaming Industry for Ukraine campaign, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/kjuwn-gaming-industry-supporting-ukraine-relief