Ukrainians protest against Russian occupation

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Netflix and H&M join list condemning Russia

HISTORY: The list of major companies cutting ties with Russia grew on Wednesday. Among them, Netflix suspended new projects in the country, while fashion store H&M and tech company Oracle suspended all sales and operations. All follow in the footsteps of the exits of global brands like Apple, Shell and Boeing, leaving Russia while often outright condemning its invasion of Ukraine. Oracle’s Twitter announcement came just hours after Ukraine’s digital minister tweeted directly at the company to enlist its support. Deputy Digital Minister Alexander Bornyakov told Reuters they had contacted dozens of companies since Sunday to try to isolate Russia and get its citizens to question their government. “So we’re trying to work on all fronts, not just, you know, like commerce or social media, because we think everyone in Russia needs to realize that this is really, really barbaric.” Moscow, which has called Russia’s actions in Ukraine a “special operation”, reacted to the growing exodus of Western investors by temporarily limiting sales of Russian assets by foreigners. Meanwhile, the list of goods that will no longer be sold in Russia is growing every day. Mercedes-Benz said it was suspending exports of certain vehicles to Russia as well as local manufacturing, like fellow global automakers Ford and BMW. Russia’s aviation sector has also taken a hit, with General Electric following Boeing and Airbus in suspending Russian support. Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, said on Wednesday it was exiting the European market because its subsidiaries were losing money. He also said the safety of his employees and property was at risk. Sources also told Reuters that regulators are preparing for the possibility that one of the banks, VTB Bank, could close its European branch due to the impact of Western sanctions.

Michael A. Bynum