Ukraine Calls on Sony and Xbox to Cut Off Russian Gamers

Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister has penned an open letter calling on the world's gaming companies to cut off Russia.
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Image: Activision Screengrab

Ukraine is asking the world’s video game developers and esports organizers to cut off Russia and temporarily block all accounts in Russia and Belarus, which is allied with Russia and served as a staging ground for the invasion.

In an open letter “to all game development companies and esports platforms,” Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Deputy Vice Prime Minister of Digital Transformation, layed out the situation in Ukraine and asked game companies to temporarily cut off Russia. He posted the letter on Twitter and tagged the Xbox and PlayStation Twitter accounts.

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Fedorov opened by explaining the attacks. “The Russian Federation has carried out a deceptive and outrageous military attack on my country,” he said. “Just imagine, in 2022, cruise missiles attack residential neighborhoods, kindergarten and hospitals in the heart of Europe.”

He then appealed directly to the game companies. “We need your support—in 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers…and missiles,” he said. “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—and I appeal to temporarily block all Russian and Belorusssian 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.”

The letter matches a similar one Fedorov sent to Apple on February 25. In the following days, Apple cut some Russian banks off from its Apple Pay system and announced it would stop selling Apple products entirely on March 1. 

Sony and Microsoft did not immediately respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.