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Netflix Suspends Service, Halts All Projects and Acquisitions Out of Russia

Netflix is joining a chorus of studio players excluding Russian projects and releases from their slates.

The Netflix logo is displayed at the entrance to Netflix Studios North America on January 19, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Netflix is scheduled to release fourth quarter earnings figures for 2021 on January 20, 2022. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

The Netflix logo is displayed at the entrance to Netflix Studios North America on January 19, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sipa USA via AP

Update: Netflix has suspended its streaming service in Russia amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. “Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” a spokesperson said.

Earlier: Netflix has paused all productions and acquisitions out of Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, according to a just-published report in Variety. Representatives at Netflix could not immediately be reached for comment from IndieWire.

Netflix reportedly had four Russian original projects in the works. One project affected is a crime thriller series currently in production that has now been put on hold. The neo-noir mystery series “ZATO” was set to be the streamer’s first original series filmed in Russia. The series is set around uncertainties in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union. From directors Darya Zhuk and Stanislav Libin, “ZATO” was first announced in early February 2022.

The streamer currently offers a robust slate of Russian film and TV series on its platforms globally and in the United States, including the popular animated kids’ program “Masha the Bear,” the drama thriller series “To the Lake,” sci-fi offering “Better Than Us,” and more.

In the last week, Russia has been banned from major events and releases, with studios like Paramount, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, and Disney all pulling soon-to-be-released theatrical titles from Russian distribution. Titles like WB’s “The Batman,” Sony’s “Morbius,” and Disney/Pixar’s “Turning Red” were put on pause as studios continue to assess the ongoing current events.

Both the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival made statements saying that they would not welcome any Russian delegates or attendees unopposed to Putin’s regime and the current government.

The European Film Academy announced that it will exclude Russian films for consideration for its 2022 European Film Awards.

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