International companies are increasingly abandoning Russia, and Netflix is the most recent addition to this trend. One week after, Hollywood studios began to cancel the theatrical premiere of blockbuster movies like The Batman.
A Netflix spokeswoman said the company had suspended its service in Russia due to “the situation on the ground.”
This is a more significant action than merely denying access to Netflix in Russia. Currently, the streaming provider has paused “any future initiatives and acquisitions,” which leaves Russian Netflix launches in an uncertain state. According to the company’s press release, four Russian-language projects are now under production or post-production at Netflix.
A new rule for Russian media distributors mandates that state-run channels be included in Netflix’s service. Previously, Netflix refused to comply with this new law. Over 20 “must-carry” Russian channels would be included, including several that air official propaganda.
Netflix was already on the verge of being kicked out of Russia due to the state of the country’s media environment. Government-run media outlets in Russia have been shut down, and state-run services have been used to propagate misinformation about the conflict in Ukraine over the past two weeks. Journalists from major international news organizations like the BBC and CNN leave the country in droves. The factual material offered by Netflix includes the 2015 protest film Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, which is currently freely available on YouTube.
It’s more complicated than it appears to leave Russia for a company like Netflix. When Only Fans announced it was leaving Russia, critics said it was more damaging to the country’s most vulnerable residents than Vladimir Putin’s regime. However, there’s still the question of whether Netflix can continue to operate in Russia, given the country’s censorship laws.
Without SWIFT access, Russia’s financial networks are in upheaval. Flights to and from the United States have been canceled since many foreign credit cards no longer work. It’s important to note that while Disney and Microsoft have highlighted the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine as reasons for leaving Russia, these decisions aren’t solely moral ones: As a result of the sanctions imposed on Russia, it is exceedingly difficult for these businesses to operate normally.