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Netflix suspends all Russian projects following invasion of Ukraine

The platform was in the process of producing the Russian language series Zato, a neo-noir detective drama show. Picture: Mike Blake

The platform was in the process of producing the Russian language series Zato, a neo-noir detective drama show. Picture: Mike Blake

Published Mar 4, 2022

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Streaming and production company Netflix has suspended all projects in Russia following the former Soviet nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

Netflix said it was assessing the impact of the current humanitarian crisis. The platform was in the process of producing the Russian language series Zato, a neo-noir detective drama show.

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Other series that have been shelved for the moment include Anna K, a re-imagined depiction of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and Nothing Special, a drama show centred around an actor working at a charity for people with disabilities.

On Tuesday, March 1, the streaming giant was obligated by law to stream 20 free-to-air Russian television stations if it wanted to continue to broadcast in the country.

These channels were a combination of entertainment, news, and sports. Russian media has been accused of being awash with propaganda and misinformation.

As a result of this, Netflix faced backlash at the time because of the prospect of adding these channels.

However, the platform informed the public that it would defy Russia. “Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” said Netflix.

Netflix has a relatively small number of subscribers in Russia, reportedly less than 1 million.

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Another large streaming platform, Disney+, stopped playing Anastasia, a 1997 animated film based on the Russian legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia.

Subscribers of Disney+ speculated that the decision to pull the film was due to the ongoing crisis; however, it was revealed that it was due to a contract dispute.

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