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(Credit: Irina Grotkjaer)

Music

Universal Music Group halting all operations in Russia

Universal Music Group is the latest conglomerate to cease business operations in Russia. The company has announced that they’re severing ties with the Eurasian country after President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine at the end of last month. 

Reported in Varietya statement from Universal read: “Effective immediately, we are suspending all operations in Russia and closing our offices there. We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible”.

The statement continued: “We are adhering to international sanctions and, along with our employees and artists, have been working with groups from a range of countries… to support humanitarian relief efforts to bring urgent aid to refugees in the region”.

Per the report in Variety, a source revealed that the company’s staffers will continue to receive their salaries for an undisclosed period of time, but that artists are likely to see activities such as recording frozen. This is just another indicator of the suffering the Russian people are being put through on the whim of their leader’s expansionist aspirations. 

Another giant of the music world, promotion company Live Nation, announced that they would not be working in Russia, saying that they were joining “the world in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.

Streaming titan Spotify has also halted its business operations in Russia, and has closed its Moscow office as a response to the invasion. Going one step further, it also said it would try to prohibit content owned and operated by media affiliated with the Russian state. 

However, they haven’t shut down in Russia and have decided to keep their service open to the Russian people, opening up another front in the war of information that rages alongside the invasion. They explained that it’s “critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information”.

Interestingly, Netflix has fully suspended its service in Russia. The American company made the decision last week, with a spokesperson saying, “Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia”. 

The business world’s reaction to the invasion of Ukraine is a developing story. Yesterday, it was reported that Pepsi, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s were also halting operations in the country.

Watch Ukraine’s President Zelensky deliver an emotional speech below.