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Netflix suspends its streaming service in Russia

Netflix has become the latest tech firm to suspend operations in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” the U.S.-based company said in a widely reported statement on Sunday, March 6.

The action means that anyone in Russia wanting to sign up to Netflix will be unable to do so starting Monday, March 7. The 1 million or so existing subscribers there will be able to continue using their account until the end of their current billing cycle, according to Politico.

In related action, Netflix recently halted work on its original Russian detective drama series Zato and said it would stop work on creating new content in Russia for the foreseeable future.

The streaming giant has also declined to broadcast 20 Russian free-to-air propaganda channels that Russian law requires Netflix to host. It’s not clear if it will face any repercussions for its refusal to air the content.

Netflix recently made available for free the 2015 feature-length documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom, which follows the political and social unrest that hit the nation in 2013 and 2014 and offers a look at the passion and determination of many of the people that are fighting again today.

Netflix tweeted to its 16.6 million followers on Saturday: “We stand united,” adding that viewing of Winter on Fire was up sevenfold since making it free to view, with the current view count standing at more than 300,000.

We stand united. 

Viewing of Winter on Fire is up sevenfold — including in Russia.

— Netflix (@netflix) March 5, 2022

The decision by Netflix to suspend operations in Russia sees it join a growing list of global tech firms halting operations in the country while the conflict continues. Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, AMD, and TikTok are among many compamnies that have taken various kinds of action that impacts their operations in Russia in some way. More information on how the tech industry is reacting to the war in Ukraine can be found on this Digital Trends page.

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