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Disney is halting theatrical releases in Russia

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Photo by Georges DeKeerle/Sygma via Getty Images

Disney will pause its theatrical releases in Russia in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to Fox Business, a spokesperson for Disney issued a statement that said, “Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming ‘Turning Red’ from Pixar. We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.

CNN Business said that Disney is reportedly working with its partner in non-governmental-organizations “to provided urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees” who were displaced by the ongoing Russian assault on Ukraine.

Netflix is also pushing back against Russia by refusing to domestically air Russian state TV channels. Russian law requires streaming platforms that have more than 100,000 subscribers in Russia to distribute state-owned Russian entertainment and news channels for free to subscription holders.

A Netflix spokesperson said, “Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service.

Disney’s decision to halt movie releases in Russia comes as the Western nations attempt to isolate Russia and cripple its economy with thoroughgoing sanctions.

On Saturday, several allied leaders of Western countries stated their commitment to restricting Russian banks from accessing the SWIFT telecommunications network.

The European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States committed to sanctioning Russian oligarchs and banks tied to the Russian government and who may be financially supporting the invasion of Ukraine.

In a joint statement, the Western leaders said, “We stand with the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people in their heroic efforts to resist Russia’s invasion. Russia’s war represents an assault on fundamental international rules and norms that have prevailed since the Second World War, which we are committed to defending. We will hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin.”

These sanctions stand to cripple the Russian economy. They will prevent the Russian central bank from implementing monetary policy that enables the Russian economy to withstand the economic impact of sanctions and they make it virtually impossible for Russia to engage in international commerce.

Apple Pay and Google Pay, two of the world’s most used payment processors, have severed their relationships with Russian banks as a result of these sanctions. The Russian people may still use their bank cards and certain payment processors domestically, but many are unable to make digital purchases or payments with entities outside Russia.

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