- Google in Russia is planning to shut down its service in the country following a seizure of its bank account
- The company has already declared its intention to file for bankruptcy after it emerged that about $15 million of its funds are frozen in Russian banks
- The company said it cannot continue to operate because of its inability to pay staff, vendors and suppliers
The majority of Google’s activities in Russia will soon come to a halt following the company’s plans to file for bankruptcy after its account was seized its bank account, making it hard to pay staff and vendors.
The company said its free services which include search and YouTube keep working, according to the company’s spokesman on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
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The search engine giant has been under serious pressure in Russia for months after it failed to delete content the Kremlin deems illegal and for restricting access to some Russian media on YouTube but Moscow has not yet blocked access to the company’s free services.
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Google’s spokesperson said that the Russian authorities' seizure of Google Russia’s bank account has made it impossible to function, including employing and paying Russia-based staff, vendors, and suppliers and meeting other financial obligations.
The spokesperson said is has published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy.
A TV station owned by a sanctioned Russian billionaire said in April that bailiffs had seized about 1 billion roubles, equivalent to $15 million from the company over its failure to restore access to its YouTube channel. This is the first time the firm is saying its bank account has been frozen.
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Google did not indicate immediately if it was the seizure of those funds that is the reason behind its plans to file for bankruptcy, or if there are other seizures.
Google did not immediately confirm whether it was the seizure of those funds that led to its intention to file for bankruptcy, or whether other seizures had occurred.
The TV channel confirmed that it had seized Google assets and property.
Google confirmed it had moved many of its employees out of Russia since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. But some had chosen to stay, according to a report by CNBC.
Russia-Ukraine War: Google disables map services in Ukraine to derail Russian troops
Legit.ng has reported that Alphabet Inc, the parent company of the search engine giant, Google has announced that it has temporarily disabled Google Map services in Ukrain amid Russia’s invasion of the country.
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Reuters reports that the company gave live data about traffic conditions in Ukraine because of the ongoing war in that country.
On Sunday, February 27, 2022, the Google Map traffic coating and its live features in Ukrain became inactive for the safety of the local communities in the Eastern European country after consultations with the authorities.