Netflix has completed the withdrawal of operations from Russia, and subscribers there have lost access to content on streaming platform. According to news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), the Netflix site and apps were no longer available from Friday and a Netflix spokesperson confirmed that subscribers no longer had access. Also Read - How to cancel your Netflix subscription on Android, iOS and web
“This is the fulfilment of the withdrawal from the Russian market” announced in March, a Netflix spokesperson told AFP on Monday. the company had waited until the end of the current billing cycle before cutting off customers, the company’s spokesperson claimed. Also Read - Series to binge-watch on Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video now
To recall, the US-based platform announced in early March that it was withdrawing from Russia after Moscow sent thousands of troops into pro-Western Ukraine. Also Read - Movies to watch on Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video during long weekend
Netflix had four Russian originals in the works, including a crime thriller series directed by Dasha Zhuk, which was shooting and has since been put on hold. Netflix also recently refused to carry 20 Russian free-to-air propaganda channels that it was required to host under the Russian law.
Companies like Microsoft, Apple and Dell have announced that they have suspended sales in the country, while Ikea has closed stores and Nike has said it will no longer fulfill online orders. On the entertainment front, all of the major studios have announced they will stop releasing their films in Russia.
Netflix is somewhat of a newcomer to Russia. It launched its service in 2016 and has a relatively small presence, with roughly one million subscribers.
The streamer boasts 222 million subscribers globally. It operates the service as a joint venture with Russia’s National Media Group.
Netflix also recently announced that it would make its 2015 documentary “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom,” available to watch for free. The non-fiction film centers on the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, which were sparked by former president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision not to sign an agreement with the European Union and instead choose to strengthen ties to Russia.
Those protests ultimately resulted in Yanukovych’s ouster. It also exacerbated tensions with Russia, with Vladimir Putin using the overthrow as a pretext for invading and annexing the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a humanitarian and refugee crisis, along with increasing fears that it could trigger a nuclear conflict.
(With inputs from IANS)