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Netflix suspends streaming service in Russia amid Ukraine war

Netflix has pulled its streaming service in Russia in protest at the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The American streaming giant said that “given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia”.

It’s understood that new customers can no longer sign up, and existing customers will lose access in the coming days and weeks.

Last week the company announced that it would pause all future projects and acquisitions from the country. They had four Russian originals in the works, all of which have now been put on hold.


They had also refused to carry 20-free-to air television channels – which under a Russian law known locally as the Vitrina TV law – are obligatory for channels to distribute.

The “must carry” channels include news, sports and entertainment, and are reportedly aligned with Russian authorities.

Netflix’s operations in Russia are still small and there are no offices or employees in the territory.

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Netflix first launched its service in the country in 2016, and operates the service as a joint venture with Russia’s National Media Group. It currently has around one million subscribers.

TikTok users will not be able to upload new content

Around 1.6 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, according to the United Nations.

There have been repeated attacks on civilians trying to flee using humanitarian corridors.

A large number of high-profile companies have distanced themselves from Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

TikTok users will not be able to upload new content, after the Chinese social networking service said it was concerned about a new “fake news” law in Russia.

“We have no choice but to suspend livestreaming and new content to our video service in Russia while we review the safety implications of this law,” it said in a statement.

Its in-app messaging service will not be affected.

The Kremlin has introduced a law which means that people who spread “fake” information about Russia’s armed forces could be jailed for up to 15 years.

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American Express, Visa and Mastercard have announced they are taking similar action, as is accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

PayPal has closed down its services, with chief executive Dan Schulman saying the company “stands with the international community in condemning Russia’s violent military aggression”.

Puma and IKEA have closed stores, Apple and Microsoft have halted product sales, and Hollywood studios have postponed the release of new movies.


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