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Russia faces massive tech sanctions as it continues threatening Ukraine

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, the former has seen bitter responses from the rest of the world in the form of different sanctions. From banning Russian state-run media outlets on streaming services to outright not selling devices in Russia, the tech world is responding in any way it can.

Apple announced Monday that it’d be stopping all sales from its online store in Russia following a plea from the Ukrainian vice prime minister asking Tim Cook to stop device sales and block the App Store in Russia. 

Major social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and TikTok, have banned Russian state-sponsored news outlets, especially RT News and Sputnik News. Russian tech companies were also banned from attending MWC 2022 as there was no Russian Pavilion. 

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Big Tech empire strikes back

Here are the major technological sanctions imposed against Russia at the moment.

  • Apple stops selling Macs, iPhones, iPads and other related products in Russia.
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay stop working with major Russian banks.
  • RT News and Sputnik news banned from major social media and streaming platforms including YouTube, Apple TV, Microsoft, Google, TikTok, Roku and DirectTV.
  • Major Russian banks to be excluded from the SWIFT platform.
  • Under US President’s Biden’s new embargo, any chip developed with American technology is restricted from sale in Russia. This includes overseas products using American technology as well. 
  • Snapchat has halted all ads in Russian, Belarus and Ukraine, stopped advertising sales for Russian and Belarusian entities as well as is completely complying with any other sanctions targetting Russian businesses and individuals. 
  • Google Maps is removing newly added user content from Maps in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine amidst claims of Maps being used by the Russian military to coordinate attacks.

Of course, sanctions in the tech space are only a small part of the bigger picture, aimed at lowering misinformation and halting the Russian propaganda machine. Other major sanctions include banks, which are now cut off from global providers like Mastercard and Visa. The EU is also trying to impose restrictive measures that’ll prevent the Russian Central Bank from using its international reserves to lessen the impact of the sanctions. 

Germany had halted the certifications of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a project that was supposed to carry natural gas from Russia to Europe via Germany, amidst the possibility of it being used as a geopolitical weapon. Even historically neutral Switzerland, a major wealth centre for Russian Oligarchs, imposed sanctions in freezing assets of certain individuals. 

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