Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Netflix pauses all projects in Russia as war with Ukraine rages on

Published Mar 3rd, 2022 4:08PM EST
Watching Netflix On TV
Image: M. Zech Fotografie/Adobe

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Russia invaded Ukraine a week ago, starting the war that everyone had feared would come. While Russia refuses to call it a war, that’s exactly what it is. As a result, the world has responded swiftly in support of Ukraine. We saw massive sanctions on Russia and dozens of companies imposing their own bans on the country. And Netflix is one of the latest Western companies to respond to the Russia-Ukraine war.

The streamer will pause all of its Russia projects for the time being, including a production that was already shooting when the war started.

Netflix’s pauses Russia productions

Netflix joins a growing list of businesses that have confirmed they will not do any business in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. Apple, Airbus, Alphabet, Boeing, Disney, Facebook, Ford, Mastercard, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and Visa are just some of the companies that have taken action against Russia.

These measures are independent of the US and European Union’s sanctions on Russia and Russian individuals. The economic sanctions include removing Russian banks from the SWIFT banking system. Other countries have joined the support for sanctions. Also, many of them have closed their airspace to Russia.

With that in mind, Netflix’s decision to pause all future projects in Russia isn’t surprising. The news comes via Variety, which reports that Netflix had four Russian originals in the works.

The streamer was already shooting on a crime thriller TV series, with director Dasha Zhuk at the help. The project, set in the 1990s, is now on hold. Variety notes that it would have been Netflix’s second original series filmed in Russia after Anna K.

netflix screenshot
A screenshot of the Netflix page for the documentary “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.” Image source: Netflix

Entertainment ban on Russia

Netflix isn’t the only streamer/studio imposing sanctions on Russia because of the ongoing war with Ukraine. Disney announced earlier this week that it will pause its theatrical releases in the country, including the upcoming Turning Red animation from Pixar. Warner Bros. followed with similar news about The Batman. The highly-anticipated superhero movie will not premiere in Russia this week.

It’s unclear whether Netflix will take additional measures on the country as the war rages. A source close to the company told Variety that Netflix is assessing the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war. Separately, it’s unclear whether regular Russian citizens will be able to pay for Netflix and other digital subscriptions. Or whether they will afford to do it.

The sanctions have crippled the Russian economy, so Netflix subscriptions might become luxuries in the region.

The decision to stop production in the country means Netflix will not be investing any money in the economy as long as the war rages.

Separately, Russia will not be able to attend major festivals and awards shows. The list includes the Cannes Film Festival, the Series Mania Festival, the MipTV, and the Biennale art exhibition in Venice.

Getting back to Netflix, there is one documentary you might want to watch, as it explains a significant event in Ukraine’s recent history that’s preceded Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the current war. That’s Winter on Fire, available right now.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.