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In an open letter published on Twitter, Mykhailo Fedorov called on the platform holders to “block all Russian and Belorussian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events”.
In a message addressed to Xbox and PlayStation, the Deputy PM wrote: “To all game development companies and esports platforms, the Russian Federation has carried out a deceptive and outrageous military attack on my country! Just imagine, in 2022, cruise missiles attack residential neighbourhoods, kindergartens and hospitals in the heart of Europe.”
The letter continues: “… we need your support – in 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers (hrad) and missiles.
“I am sure that you will not only hear, but also do everything possible to protect Ukraine, Europe and finally, the entire democratic world from bloody authoritarian aggression – and I appeal to temporarily block all Russian and Belarusian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belarusian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel international events holding on the territory of Russia and Belarus.
“We are sure that such actions will motivate the citizens of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression.”
Fedorov also called on Riot Games, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Wargaming to close their offices in Russia. He wrote: “There’s no place for aggressor on the global technological map!”
On Wednesday, Sony announced a $2 million dollar donation to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the international NGO, Save the Children, “in order to provide humanitarian aid to the affected populations in Ukraine and countries in the region.”
The company also plans to connect donations from Sony employees and match the amount raised, it said.
Xbox’s parent company Microsoft has yet to respond, however, it did outline its plans to help tackle cyberattacks against Ukraine in a blog post published last week.
The developer of anti-war game This War of Mine announced last week that it would donate some profits made from the game to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
In the film industry, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Disney have all pulled films from release in Russia including the upcoming The Batman.
Football governing body FIFA has banned Russia from participating in the upcoming World Cup qualification matches. UEFA has also removed Russian teams from its competitions. At the time of writing, FIFA’s official video game, FIFA 22, has not removed Russia or any Russian teams from selection.