Ukraine official calls on “all game development companies” to block Russian players

"We are sure that such actions will motivate the citizens of Russian to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression"

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, the game industry – like much of the international community – has been stepping up to help support the Ukrainian people. Today, Ukraine’s vice prime minister is calling for developers to take the additional step of blocking “all Russian and Belarusian accounts” – which the top official hopes will encourage Russian civilians to pressure their government to end the military aggression.

“I am sure that you will not only hear, but also do everything possible to protect Ukraine, Europe, and, finally, the entire democratic world from bloody authoritarian aggression,” vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov says in an open letter to “all game development companies and esports platforms”. In a tweet containing the letter, Fedorov directly tags Xbox and PlayStation.

“I appeal to temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belarusian teams and gamers in international esports events, and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus. We are sure that such actions will motivate the citizens of Russian to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression.”

Fedorov also serves as Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, and has been making similar calls for other tech companies – not just those on social media – to halt access to Russian users. Fedorov is, for example, calling on Apple and Google to end access to apps on their mobile platforms in Russia.

Federov is also calling for game companies with studios in Russia – which includes publishers as large as Riot and Ubisoft – to close those offices.

Numerous companies have announced a temporary end to operations in the Russian market, but few have taken the extra step of completely blocking access to users there.

If you would like to support Ukraine yourself, you can donate to UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and Voices of Children at those links.

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