The tech exodus from Russia has ramped up as Microsoft halted all new product and services sales inside the country because of the invasion of Ukraine. Apple did much the same thing earlier in the week.
“Like the rest of the world, we are horrified, angered and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemn this unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a blog post.
Microsoft is just the latest in a line of Western companies to suspend sales in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nike and Dell Technologies have suspended sales inside Russia, as have SAP and Oracle. Last Tuesday, Apple confirmed it had stopped selling its products in Russia. On Apple’s Russia store, all products are listed as “unavailable” for purchase or delivery in the country.
“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” Apple said in a statement Tuesday. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”
Alphabet’s Google, however, said it will continue to provide its search engine and other services in Russia, though Google Pay may become unavailable in certain “countries, regions and institutions” as sanctions are imposed.
“Most of our services (like Search, Maps and YouTube) currently remain available in Russia, continuing to provide access to global information and perspectives,” Google said in a blog post.
Google, did however, block mobile apps connected to Russian broadcasters RT and Sputnik. Microsoft also said it would remove Russian state-owned media outlet RT’s mobile apps from the Windows App store and ban advertisements on Russian state-sponsored media.
Also on Friday, Russia’s Federal communications oversite agency (roskomnadzor) announced it would block Facebook inside the country. The social media blackout is as an attempt to squelch dissenting views on social media, according to one US regulator.
Russia framed the social media restriction as a retaliatory action based on “26 cases of discrimination against Russian media” by Facebook.
Other companies that have stopped sales or services in Russia include Dell Technologies, Ford and Ericsson. And shipping companies A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and Mediterranean Shipping Co. said they would suspend all shipments to Russian ports with the exception of food.