Monday, March 27, 2023
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Ukraine Urges Microsoft And Sony To Pull PlayStation And Xbox Support From Russia

Over the past week, Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, has been corresponding with tech companies, calling for them to halt operations in Russia and provide aid to Ukraine. Elon Musk responded directly to Fedorov on Twitter, announcing that Starlink internet service has been activated for Ukraine. Musk also shipped Starlink terminals to Ukraine, earning Fedorov’s thanks.Other tech companies that have received letters from Fedorov, like Apple, have ceased product sales in Russia. Cryptocurrency exchanges have blocked addresses associated with Russian and Belarusian politicians and oligarchs in compliance with economic sanctions, but have refrained from blocking all Russian users, despite Fedorov’s request to do so. These moves come amidst intense sanctions that have driven the Russian ruble below the value of Roblox’s Robux
Federov is now asking game companies and eports platforms to join the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The vice prime minister published an open letter on Twitter , stating that Russia must suffer significant losses for its outrageous military attack on Ukraine. The letter calls on game companies to temporarily block all Russian and Belorussian accounts. It also directs esports platforms to temporarily ban Russian and Belarusian teams and gamers from participating in international esports events and to cancel esports events taking place in Russia and Belarus.Federov’s tweet specifically urged Microsoft and Sony to pull Xbox and PlayStation from the Russian market. Sony has previously shown its willingness to disengage from the Russian market, having announced earlier this week that it would pause the Russian theatrical release of Morbius and future films, joining Disney, Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros.Some game companies and esports platforms have already made announcements in line with Federov’s open letter. EA Sports will remove all Russian and Belarusian teams from its FIFA and NHL game franchises. The esports team Natus Vincere (NAVI) has broken off cooperation with Russia’s main esports group, and ESL Gaming has banned organizations with apparent ties to the Russian government from participating in the upcoming ESL Pro League.

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