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Ukraine vice prime minister asks Sony, Microsoft, other studios to halt operations in Russia

Mykhailo Fedorov wants "all game development companies" to temporarily cut off Russia in support of "human values."

Ukraine vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov has called on Microsoft, Sony, and "all game development companies and esports platforms" to halt operations in Russia.

In an open letter shared on Twitter, Fedorov called on the games industry to "temporarily block all Russian and Belorussian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events, and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus."

Fedorov, who also serves as the minister of digital transformation for Ukraine, tagged the official Xbox and PlayStation accounts on social media, and said they would leave the Russian market if they "support human values."

"The Russian Federation has carried out a deceptive and outrageous military attack on my country. Just imagine, in 2022, cruise missiles attack residential neighbourhoods, kindergartens, and hospitals in the heart of Europe," reads the open letter.

"The armed forces and citizens are defending Ukraine till the end. The whole world is repelling the aggressor through the imposition of sanctions -- the enemy must suffer significant losses. But we need your support -- in 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers and missiles."

"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."

The plea comes after members of the tech and media industry confirmed they would temporarily limit services in Russia. For instance, Apple and Google are restricting operating in the region, limiting or blocking access to services like Apple Maps, Apple Pay, Google Pay, while Google is also restricting news companies backed by the Russian state.

Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros have also paused some theatrical movie releases in Russia, removing major flicks like Turning Red, The Batman, and Morbius from their release slates in the country.

The wider games industry has rallied in support of Ukraine, with numerous developers and publishing pledging financial aid to help those affected by the Russian invasion. Those studios operating in Ukraine have also called for support, with Frogrwares CEO Wael Amr specifically asking tech companies to "take a stand" against Russia.

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