On Monday, Netflix and TikTok joined multiple major American corporations who said they will cut ties with Russia in the wake of the country’s invasion into the Ukraine. TikTok announced on Sunday that they had “no choice” after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law that is intended to ban what the leader says is “fake news.” Putin has already suspended service of companies such as RT News, an independent news outlet based in Russia.
Netflix and TikTok are joining a wealth of American-based companies that have pulled their services from Russian access. Two of the major accounting firms in the United States, KPMG and PricewaterhourCoopers, announced on Sunday that their Russian-based firms would leave the network.
KPMG’s firm in Belarus is also pulling up stakes. KPMG released a statement: “We believe we have a responsibility, along with other global businesses, to respond to the Russian government’s ongoing military attack on Ukraine.”
Netflix was in the middle of producing or acquiring four Russian-based projects, which they have paused for the moment. The streaming giant suspended its service in Russia indefinitely as well.
American Express, Mastercard and Visa also suspended use in Russia, saying that their cards would no longer work in Russian businesses nor at ATMs located there. They are suspending all transactions for Russian-issued cards worldwide. The financial institutions say this is in compliance with economic sanctions levied by Western countries.
EA Sports, a producer of video games, has stopped selling games and content in Russia, including virtual currency bundles. The gaming giant had already removed the Russian soccer team from any FIFA games and both Belarusian and Russian teams have been removed from any NHL-based games. Microsoft is not only helping to prevent a cyberattack on Ukrainian interests, but they have suspended the sale of new games inside Russia.
Hermes’ and Chanel are two luxury retailers who have closed their doors to stores located in Russia. Both say they are “deeply concerned” about the situation in Europe.
Both Samsung and Apple products are no longer being shipped to Russia as of Friday; Google has said they will no longer sell online advertising for its online channels or for YouTube.
Any Volkswagen vehicles manufactured in Russia have been suspended in production. Mercedes Benz has suspended shipment of any of its vehicles to Russia.
Many oil companies were the first to announce their split from Russian interests. Shell, Exxon Mobil, and BP all cut drilling in Russia within days of the Russian invasion into Ukraine.
These aren’t the only companies who have cut business ties with Russia, and there are likely to be more. However, it is unclear whether these actions will actually have much of an effect on the Russian invasion, which many rumor is not popular with the Russian infantry and the Russian people.
The Russian people have the most to lose with the closures of these businesses or the lack of these products in their country. Russian President Vladimir Putin has cut much of the media coming into Russia, and there are multiple economic sanctions on Russia. However, it is the people of Russia who are seeing the ruble tumble in value. It is the Russian people who can’t utilize Apple Pay or Google Pay. It is the Russian people who may not be able to access their personal money.
At a rumored net worth of up to $200 million, Vladimir Putin likely has access to his wealth. He isn’t unable to pay bills or buy groceries, and he is likely riding in his luxury cars and wearing his luxury watches.
Although there have been multiple rounds of economic sanctions, Putin is continuing his foray into Ukraine. He has killed at least 400 civilians so far, and he constantly shells apartment buildings and other civilian targets. Looking at evidence from past actions, it is unlikely Putin pulls out while the innocent people of Russia who do not want this war suffer.