On February 24th 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine with the world at large condemning the ongoing war. Many companies have been pulling support in protest, like Electronic Arts removing Russian clubs and the national team from FIFA and CD Projekt RED removing GOG services from the country. Microsoft is the latest to announce the suspension of new sales in Russia in a new blog by president and vice chair Brad Smith.
“Like the rest of the world, we are horrified, angered and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemn this unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia. I want to use this blog to provide an update on Microsoft’s actions, building on the blog we shared earlier this week.
“We are announcing today that we will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia. 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.
“We believe we are most effective in aiding Ukraine when we take concrete steps in coordination with the decisions being made by these governments and we will take additional steps as this situation continues to evolve.”
Microsoft has been working to bolster Ukraine’s cybersecurity, citing its involvement against “Russian positioning, destructive or disruptive measures against more than 20 Ukrainian government, IT and financial sector organizations.” This includes an attack on a major broadcaster in the Ukraine and cyberattacks against civilian sites.
“We have publicly raised our concerns that these attacks against civilians violate the Geneva Convention. We are also continuing to mobilize our resources to help the people in Ukraine. Our Microsoft Philanthropies and UN Affairs teams are working closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and multiple UN agencies to help refugees by providing technology and financial support for key NGOs and, where needed, we are defending these groups from ongoing cyberattacks.”
Smith said in closing that the company was committed to the safety of its employees in the Ukraine. It’s in “constant contact” with them and helping those who must flee the country for their own safety. “Like so many others, we stand with Ukraine in calling for the restoration of peace, respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and the protection of its people.”
Stay tuned for more details on the situation in the coming weeks, especially as more companies pull support and sales from Russia.