Universal Music Group have announced they are cutting ties with Russia, one of many companies to have shuttered their operations in the country since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last month.
“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,” reads a statement from Universal, as Variety reports.
“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.”
According to Variety, a source has revealed that while the company’s staffers will continue to receive their salaries for an indeterminate amount of time, artists will likely see their recording activity frozen.
Universal are the latest business to announce their withdrawal from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, with the attack drawing widespread condemnation around the globe.
Earlier this month, Live Nation announced they would not be promoting shows in Russia or doing business with the country, saying in a statement they were joining “the world in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.
Spotify, meanwhile, shuttered its Moscow office in response to the invasion, and said it would restrict the discoverability of content owned and operated by Russian state-affiliated media. They stopped short of shutting off service to Russian users, saying they believe it’s “critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information”.
One company who has suspended their service in Russia is Netflix, who shut down streaming in the country last week. “Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” commented a spokesperson at the time.
Meanwhile, artists including My Chemical Romance, Yungblud, Green Day, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Placebo and Russian rapper Oxxxmiron are among those who have cancelled planned shows in Russia in the fortnight since the invasion of Ukraine began.
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