The government of Ukraine is calling upon Xbox and PlayStation to suspend their customers in Russia and Belarus. Russian exports, such as Vodka, have been barred across the western world while aircraft from the country have been forbidden from flying to and from both the U.S. and EU.
Earlier today, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, called on Xbox and PlayStation — which are owned by Microsoft and Sony respectively — to take action against customers in Russia and Belarus. Fedorov called on the video game giants to “temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts”, adding to mounting cultural pressure on the two nations. He also called for all Russian and Belarusian esports teams to be temporarily barred from competition going forward.
Lastly, Fedorov called for all upcoming international esports tournaments set to take place in Russia and Belarus to be cancelled. “We are sure that such actions will motivate the citizens of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression,” Fedorov wrote in a letter.
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You are definitely aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now. Russia declare war not for Ukraine but for all civilized world. If you support human values, you should live the Russian market! pic.twitter.com/tnQr13BsSv
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) March 2, 2022
In addition to the banning of Russian exports, and calls from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to take action against Russian oil imports, the Kremlin has also faced backlash on the cultural front. On Monday, two Russian titles were removed from consideration by the Glasgow Film Festival. “We just believe that it would be inappropriate to proceed as normal with these screenings in the current circumstances,” the film festival said in a statement. Additionally, Russian and Belarusian athletes have been sanctioned or banned outright from several competitions and organizations, including the International Ice Hockey Federation.
On the gaming front, EA Sports opted to remove the Russian national team from FIFA 22. Sony and Xbox have yet to respond to the requests from Ukraine.
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