Netflix Completes Withdrawal From Russia Amid Ukraine War, Russian Subscribers Lost Access to Streaming Giant
Russian subscribers have lost access to streaming giant Netflix in the latest pullout of a Western company over the conflict in Ukraine.
The Netflix site and apps were no longer available from Friday and a Netflix spokesperson confirmed that subscribers no longer had access.
“This is the fulfilment of the withdrawal from the Russian market” announced in March, a Netflix spokesperson told AFP on Monday.
The US-based platform announced in early March that it was withdrawing from Russia after Moscow sent thousands of troops into pro-Western Ukraine.
The spokesperson said the company had waited until the end of the current billing cycle before cutting off customers.
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming platform, with 221.8 million subscribers at the end of 2021, but was a minor player in Russia.
The company said in an April letter to shareholders that it had lost 7,00,000 paid subscribers as a result of its withdrawal from Russia, blaming the pullout for its first global drop in subscribers in a decade.
Netflix is among a host of foreign companies that have announced the suspension of operations or outright withdrawal from Russia since the launch of Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine on February 24.
Back in March, Netflix and TikTok suspended most of their services in Russia as the government cracked down on what people and media outlets can say about Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Pulling the plug on online entertainment — and information — is likely to further isolate the country and its people after a growing number of multinational businesses have cut off Russia from vital financial services, technology, and a variety of consumer products in response to Western economic sanctions and global outrage over the invasion of Ukraine.
US credit card companies Visa, Mastercard, and American Express all said over the March’s first weekend they would cut service in Russia. South Korea’s Samsung, a leading supplier of both smartphones and computer chips, said it would halt product shipments to the country, joining other big tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Intel, and Dell.