Netflix Suspends Service in Russia

Netflix has suspended service in Russia in opposition to the country's invasion of Ukraine. On Sunday, Variety reported that the streaming service had fully suspended services to Russia, a development coming just days after Netflix had announced that it was pausing all projects and acquisitions from Russia. The streamer also refused to carry Russian state television channels on their service in the country despite a new law that went into effect on Monday requiring it. No new customers will be able to subscribe to Netflix in Russia, though it's currently unclear what will happen with existing accounts. Netflix operates in Russia through a joint venture with National Media Group.

"Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia," a Netflix spokesperson told the outlet.

Last week, Netflix announced that it had halted production of its upcoming Russian-language series. The streamer had four in the works at that time: the neo-noir detective drama Zato, an untitled series, Nothing Special, a drama about a young actor working at a charity for people with disabilities, and Anna K, a contemporary retelling of Anna Karenina. Anna K had been set to be Netflix's first original series. Both Anna K and Nothing Special had completed filming in December. The untitled series was in the process of completing filming. While Netflix has less than 1 million subscribers in Russia, the streamer had been expanding its focus on international content due in part to the success of international series such as Lupin and Squid Game. The service hasn't been in Russia for long, either, having launched there in 2016.

Additionally, Netflix also recently announced that it was making its 2015 documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom available to watch for free on YouTube. The documents follow the protests in Ukraine after former president Viktor Yanukovych opted not to sign an agreement with the European Union and instead strengthen ties to Russia. The protests eventually led to Yanukovych's ouster and led to Russian president Vladimir Putin using the overthrow as a reason to invade and annex the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.


Netflix is just the latest entertainment company to react to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Universal, Disney, Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros. and more have all announced that they are halting movie releases and other business with Russia on an indefinite basis.