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Microsoft stops sales in Russia

The company joins dozens of other companies in pulling business out of the country

Microsoft Xbox logo on a glitchy green background Illustration: James Bareham/Polygon
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Microsoft has ceased all new sales in Russia, the company announced Friday. Microsoft also announced that it will work with Ukrainian cybersecurity officials to help protect the country against Russian cyberattacks.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov urged gaming companies like Microsoft and PlayStation to pull out of the Russian market and to support the people of Ukraine. Along with Microsoft, several other companies, including CD Projekt Group and Bloober Team, have announced that they will no longer be selling in Russia.

“We are announcing today that we will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia,” Brad Smith, president and vice chair at Microsoft, said in an announcement. “In addition, we are coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions.”

Microsoft also says that it’s working with its employees in Ukraine to ensure their safety and mobilizing its Microsoft Philanthropies and U.N. Affairs teams to provide additional support, particularly by defending civilians from cyberattacks.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in late February when Russia launched an unprovoked attack on the country. Since the fighting began, there have been thousands of casualties, including many civilians, and nearly a million civilians have fled the country. The attack has resulted in sanctions against Russia from many countries around the world. Major companies like Shell, BP, and Apple have also stopped operating in the country along with entertainment companies like Disney, Warner Bros., and Paramount.

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