Major Corporations Pulling Out Of Russia
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the list of corporations, both tech and otherwise, pulling out of Russia is growing by the day. Microsoft announced on Saturday, 5th March that it would stop selling products in Russia and that it will pause other services in line with government sanctions. From Disney to Ikea, companies have either closed their offices, divested their interests in the country and/or ceased their operations.
- Alphabet (Google and YouTube)
- Exxon Mobil
- Visa… and others
The sanctions placed on Russia are some of the heaviest yet seen and one has to consider that many of these companies have had a presence in Russia for decades. The economic sanctions alone are going to be felt by every Russian throughout the country.
Russians can no longer take foreign currency out of the country, interest rates have shot up from 9.5% to 20%, the rouble is now worth less than one American cent and the country has been removed from the international SWIFT payment system. But President Putin has been preparing for sanctions over a considerable length of time, building up a war chest of some US$640 billion. However, following the freeze on Russian assets abroad, a large part of that war chest will now be inaccessible and one has to wonder how long the country can endure such biting sanctions before inflation skyrockets and the economy collapses completely.
Facebook And Twitter Now Blocked In Russia
In retaliation to Russia Today, Sputnik, and other Russian news outlets being blocked in much of Europe, the Russian state regulator has blocked both Facebook and Twitter in the country, citing fake news as the culprit. Social media is how people communicate nowadays, so presumably, apart from being a retaliation, it’s a way of curbing dissent and protests by the Russian public.
We all know why NATO cannot intervene in this conflict and the economic sanctions imposed by the west are being referred to by President Putin as an act of war. But since the alternative is unthinkable, one has to wonder what the long-term impact will be, not just on the ordinary men and women on the street in Russia, but on the leadership itself. One can only hope that it causes a U-turn in the current invasion of Ukraine, but it’s a forlorn hope, unfortunately.