Ukrainian Official Calls on Xbox and PlayStation to Ban Russian Gamers – CNET


Ukraine’s vice prime minister is calling on gaming platforms to block accounts from Russia and Belarus. 

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This story is part of War in Ukraine, CNET’s coverage of events there and of the wider effects on the world.

All esports platforms and game development companies should ban Russian players from their services, Ukraine’s vice prime minister said Wednesday. In a tweet that tagged Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox, Mykhailo Fedorov called for platforms to block accounts from Russia and Belarus and ban esports teams from those countries from competition in response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“I appeal to temporarily block all Russian and Belorussian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of all Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus,” the statement said. Belarus has been an ally to Russia so far in the conflict.

Fedorov said the ban would motivate Russians to work to stop their country’s invasion.

The call comes amid a string of other sanctions and bans in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian athletes have been banned from the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing by the International Olympic Committee. Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, and its European counterpart, UEFA, have banned Russia’s soccer teams from international competition, ending the national men’s team’s chance to qualify for 2022’s World Cup unless the ban is lifted. Russia has also been banned from this year’s Eurovision competition.

The European Union banned Russia’s state-run media companies, RT and Sputnik, while Apple and Google removed the publications’ apps from their app stores and YouTube and Facebook restricted access to them. Some Russian banks have been removed from the SWIFT banking system, which limits their ability to do international business.

Early Thursday, Polish video game developer CD Projekt said it’d stop selling its games in Russia and Belarus “in light of the Russian military invasion of our neighboring country.”

Microsoft and Sony Interactive Entertainment didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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