International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM, on Tuesday said that it has started laying off its entire Russian workforce as the company ceased operations in the country.

The technology corporation had announced the decision to end operations in Russia on March 7 after Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24.

“This process [layoff] will commence today and result in the separation of our local workforce,” IBM Chairperson and CEO Arvind Krishna said. “Our colleagues in Russia have, through no fault of their own, endured months of stress and uncertainty. We recognize that this news is difficult, and I want to assure them that IBM will continue to stand by them.”

Krishna said that IBM had been focussed on the safety and security of its employees and their families in war-affected regions.

“We chose to suspend operations so that we could evaluate longer-term options while continuing to pay and provide for our employees in Russia,” Krishna said. “As the consequences of the war continue to mount and uncertainty about its long-term ramifications grows, we have now made the decision to carry out an orderly wind-down of IBM’s business in Russia.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” aimed at dislodging the “neo-Nazis” in Kyiv. However, Ukraine and its Western allies have said that this is a baseless pretext for a war of choice.

According to the United Nations’ human rights office, the conflict has killed at least 4,253 persons till June 7. It also said that the real number of deaths could be considerably higher, and noted that there were delays in reporting from areas with intense hostilities.

Several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have imposed sanctions on Moscow because of its offensive against Ukraine. Some of these measures target Russian state-owned banks and restrict the country’s ability to carry out transactions in major currencies, making it difficult for Moscow to trade with other countries. Some have also announced a ban to export oil from Russia.

Many businesses and firms such as Mcdonald’s, Coca-Cola, Apple, TikTok, Netflix, Visa and American Express amongst others have already suspended operations in Russia, according to the BBC.