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Google’s Russian division files for bankruptcy

Google Russian division is filing for bankruptcy after officials seized its bank account in the country, making it impossible to continue run.

The relationship between Russia and Google has always been a delicate one and the whole Ukraine invasion business further complicates things. Before now, Russia had fined Google nearly $100 million in 2021 for not removing several contents it ruled were illegal in the country.

Then, in 2022, their relationship became even worse with Google suspending commercial activities in the region as part of the tech sanctions that the US was putting on the Putin-led government. By extension, YouTube (also owned by the search giants) suspended accounts that were affiliated with Russia.

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In retaliation, the country’s telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor started placing restrictions on Google services and eventually took over its bank account, seizing funds.

“[It] has made it untenable for our Russia office to function, including employing and paying Russia-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations,” a Google spokesperson said.

It is worthy of note that the actions began taking place after the tech company refused to reinstate channels it owned on YouTube.

Despite filing for bankruptcy, Google says that it will continue to provide free services such as Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps and Android for now. Russia, on the other hand, has not completely blocked access to YouTube. Although, it has blocked other services like Google News.

The tech sanctions have generated talks of the Russian government floating its own internet. However, at this time, we have only heard rumours of tests being carried out as the country continues to use the global internet.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.