Amidst the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country is paying a heavy price for openly attacking a sovereign nation. We have seen unprecedented economic sanctions that have effectively crippled the ruble and ostracized Russia from the financial community. Companies have pulled operations in the country, and now Microsoft has removed Minecraft from Russian app stores.
The world’s most popular game is no longer available on the Apple (iOS) App Store or Google Play (Android) in Russia. This was almost inevitable when Microsoft announced last week it would cease all sales within in the country.
Apple, Google, and a host of other tech giants have taken a similar stance, while Facebook has been banned in Russia. So, not only is the country now cut off economically and politically, but also technologically.
There is a debate to be had about where to punishments against the Putin regime end and punishments against normal people in Russia begin. It is worth noting that Russians are being fed lies by the Putin government. The party line is Ukraine is a Nazi nation and Russian forces are liberating the country.
One question is how much these lies convince people in Russia. There are reports of growing protest against the invasion within the country as the truth slowly seeps in. At the moment, there is no doubt that sympathy is entirely with Ukraine and people in Russia a reaping what their government sows.
As well as ceasing sales and removing Minecraft, Microsoft has also banned Russian news sites on its platforms. Furthermore, the company is actively helping Ukraine to thwart Russia-based cyberattacks.
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