Starting today, Blizzard will be blocking players in the Crimea region of the Russian Federation from accessing game servers, The Moscow Times reports. This is a direct result of sanctions placed on Russia by the U.S. government over the annexation of the region from Ukraine last year.
In late December, President Barack Obama ordered a ban on the export of "goods, technology and services" to Crimea, the BBC reports. That ban was later taken up by the European Union. The Moscow Times said in their article, published yesterday, that U.S. companies such as Apple, Google and PayPal have since suspended operations in Crimea, making Blizzard merely one among many.
The Moscow Times cites Russian website Geektime.ru for initially posting the following notice, which appears to have been emailed to Crimean users of Battle.net. Polygon has translated it via Google, and reposted it below.
Notice of Battle.net account ... Blizzard Customer Service ... You are receiving this letter because in connection with the current trade restrictions against the Crimean region, we are forced to suspend access to your account Battle.net. All of the current subscription will be canceled. We sincerely regret that you raised these circumstances, and if the situation changes, we will be happy to do everything in our power to regain access to your account. - Blizzard Entertainment
Polygon has reached out to Blizzard to discuss the issue in detail.