T-Platforms, a Russian company that once planned to build an exascale supercomputer and homegrown CPUs, was declared bankrupt this week as the cost of the company's assets was lower than its obligations. T-Platforms was one of a few companies in Russia that could build world-class high-performance supercomputers. The main reasons for the bankruptcy are not sanctions by Western countries but rather Russia's attempt to replace Western technologies with its own.
T-Platforms was established in 2002 to build servers and supercomputers that would be competitive against offerings from the likes of IBM and HP. Over the years, T-Platforms developed some of Russia's highest-performing supercomputers based on AMD Opteron, Intel Xeon, and Nvidia Tesla processors. For example, the company's Lomonosov supercomputer, based on 33,072 CPUs, was ranked the No. 18 most potent machine in the world and the No. 3 supercomputer in Europe.
Eventually, the company expanded business outside Russia and established offices in Hannover, Germany; Hong Kong, China; and Taipei, Taiwan. However, the company ran into troubles with the U.S. Department of Commerce in early 2013 when the latter accused T-Platforms of selling supercomputers to military end users and nuclear research, contrary to U.S. national security. As a result, T-Platforms was delisted from DoC's Entity List in late 2013 – early 2014.
But after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014 and faced the first round of sanctions, the government kicked off programs to develop microprocessors and other chips in the country to replace x86 offerings from AMD and Intel. One of the companies meant to create Arm-based system-on-chips for PCs aimed at government agencies was Baikal Microelectronics, a subsidiary of T-Platforms established in 2012.
Baikal Microelectronics secured government subsidies to speed up the development of homebrew processors and servers. However, while Baikal Microelectronics has managed to design several Arm and MIPS-based processors, whereas T-Platforms started to sell some of its new servers in Russia, they failed to deliver their products on time. As a result, the Russian Ministry of Trade sued Baikal in 2019. Meanwhile, the chief executive officer of T-Platforms was arrested in March 2019 as his company failed to deliver about 9,000 Baikal-based PCs to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is when the company started to fire personnel and fold its operations.
Eventually, T-Platforms had to sell its 60% stake in Baikal to Varton in October 2020, reports CNews. The company filed for bankruptcy in October 2021. In December 2021, the Moscow Arbitration decided to introduce an external monitoring procedure for T-Platforms. Vsevolod Opanasenko, the former CEO of T-Platforms who faces ten years in prison, plans to file for bankruptcy himself. Some media reports indicate that he used to control 75% of T-Platforms, whereas the remaining stake belonged to the Russian government.
At present websites of T-Platforms and Baikal Microelectronics are no longer operational.
There was a referendum in Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia after the Maidan revolution. It was sparked by an internal matter of civil war in Ukraine and the people of Crimea voted to join Russia by an overwhelming majority. The opponents of this act of self determinism and self preservation claim that this is illegal, and invalid, but at the end of the day, Russia never "invaded Crimea". The population of Crimea is in majority Russian speaking ethnic slavs, and accordingly were at odds with the government in power in Kiev, the latter having become openly hostile to Russians. Delving into the details of the Maidan revolution is something I encourage everyone to do in light of the current war, but I won't get into it here.
Granted crimeans would have voted to leave Ukraine even without Russian intervention. It was an absolutely unnecessary move by Russia. And it negated any and all credibility in the process that ensued.
We need to call it what it is - Russia invaded Crimea. Just because the soldiers were already there and they removed their identifying uniform markings during this military operation does not change the fact that they occupied Crimea.
The Russian soldiers were not already in Crimea, they arrived from Russia by boat to take over. Russia was leasing a navy base in Crimea but their navy was not used for the occupation.
Crimea residents voting to join Russia is far from certain and is a moot point anyway. There was periodic polling done on the matter with ~54% wanting to remain in Ukraine, and this was rising each year (not hard to find online). There's also a significant Crimean Tartar population who hate Russia (for good reason) and they strongly wanted to remain part of Ukraine. But this is all moot anyway because if the residents of Crimea really did want to leave (even though this is against the constitution), there would have been protests, legal action, etc. etc. (like Euromaidan) which would have made it impossible for Ukraine to ignore, but this wasn't the case. Its an illegal land grab by Russia.