Netflix is being phased out of Russia, following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine twelve days ago, according to a spokesperson for the streaming video giant. And Netflix is just the latest high-profile company to announce it will pull out of the country altogether as Russian soldiers continue to attack their former Soviet neighbour.
“Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” a spokesperson for Netflix in Australia told Gizmodo by email overnight.
What does suspension of service look like for Russia’s roughly 1 million Netflix subscribers? The company is suspending new sign-ups immediately and existing customers will only have access to Netflix content until the end of their current billing cycle. After that, all Russian Netflix subscribers will have their accounts cancelled.
Netflix is far from the first company to decide that ceasing operations in Russia is a good idea, with several Western companies pulling out since the initial invasion of Ukraine less than two weeks ago. IKEA is closing all of its Russian stores, Nike is temporarily pausing all sales, and Boeing is no longer supplying parts to the country.
Apple has stopped sales in Russia, Spotify has ceased operations there, and film studios Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony have even paused their movie release schedules in the country. Whatever Vladimir Putin was planning to get out of his invasion of Ukraine — and, to be clear, no one really knows why he’d do something so idiotic — it’s almost certain he wasn’t betting on being alienated from so many western brands.
It’s still difficult to get an accurate picture of how many Ukrainians and Russians have been killed in this relatively young war so far, but we have much more accurate numbers when it comes to the number of Ukrainians that have fled since the fighting started.
Over 1.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24, with the vast majority arriving in Poland, according to the latest data provided by the United Nations Refugee Agency. And the longer fighting continues, the more women and children are going to flee Ukraine, creating a completely unnecessary humanitarian disaster.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.