After the start of the war in Ukraine, many international companies started to leave Russia as an aggressor country ignoring human rights. The same, albeit not to the same extent, awaited Belarus, as the illegitimate dictator supported the military action and kindly provided territory for them. We tell you which companies withdrew from Belarus and closed access for Belarusian users.
On February 24, users reported that the job search site Jooble had closed access for job seekers from Russia and Belarus. Users from both countries see the text: “Right now, Russian Federation and Belarus are committing war crimes in Ukraine. The Russian army is shelling Ukrainian towns and villages, and civilians are suffering. Stop your government before it is too late”.
On March 4, the English spell-check service GRAMMARLY stopped operating in Belarus. The service team stressed that it stopped providing services to users from Belarus and Russia in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, which included attacks across the Belarusian border. Customers, who subscribed to the service, will get a refund. “We hope that the war will end quickly with the recognition of Ukraine as a free and independent country,” GRAMMARLY said.
On March 4, it became known that the travel accommodation booking service AIRBNB announced the suspension of work in both the Russian and Belarusian markets. BOOKING.COM did the same. Due to the sanctions imposed by the USA and the EU, it became impossible to carry out financial transactions and control the provision of services in Belarus and Russia.
As of March 8, photobank DEPOSITPHOTOS (founded in Ukraine and bought by the US company VistaPrint) stopped its services for Belarus and Russia. “We will stop accepting payments, stop accessing prepaid services and stop any other cooperation with customers and partners from the above countries. Depositphotos and VistaCreate will refund all liabilities as soon as the sanctions are lifted,” the service team said. Stock photo platform Shutterstock has blocked payments to users from Belarus and Russia. They are not sure that the money will go as intended in the conditions of sanctions.
On March 9, as many as three dating apps left Russia and Belarus. They are Badoo, Bumble and Fruitz. Latvian social network Ask.fm also left Russia and Belarus. Three major Western postal operators – DHL EXPRESS, FEDEX and UPS – also no longer deliver goods and parcels to Belarus.
After the outbreak of war in Ukraine, many freelance dealings left Belarus. The world’s largest freelance website UPWORK has stopped working in our country since May 1. Ukrainian job search platform for IT professionals DJINNI also stops providing services to clients from Belarus. Another freelance exchange, FREELANCEHUNT (also Ukrainian), says goodbye to Belarusian users but allows them to withdraw their money.
Taxi services Bolt and Uber will also soon be unavailable for Belarusians. And file transfer service WeTransfer, which stopped working in Belarus and Russia, appealed to users like this: “We have taken a difficult decision to stop providing services and selling our products in Russia and Belarus… There is a risk that our products and services are used in the interests of war, and we cannot accept this”.
On March 1, international chemical company KEMIRA, headquartered in Finland, announced the suspension of supplies to Belarus. The firm produces chemicals necessary for the production of pulp, cardboard and paper.
On March 2, German carmaker MAN said it would stop exporting its trucks and components to Belarus. “In the light of the hostilities, MAN has experienced supply shortages and, consequently, production disruption,” explained the company. The same decision was taken by the Italian automobile company IVECO.
On March 3, IKEA decided to suspend its operations in Russia and Belarus. Judging by the official statement of the Swedish company, the suspension will affect about 15 thousand employees in both countries. There are no physical outlets of the Swedish company in Belarus, only assembly shops, but the online shop is working.
On the same day, German chemical concern BASF stated that it refused all new projects in Belarus, except for projects connected with food production for humanitarian purposes. But the concern will continue to implement current projects in Russia and Belarus as long as the parties “do not violate the sanctions.
On March 4, the Danish trucking company MAERSK announced that it would stop accepting orders for shipments to and from Belarus. “In the future, only orders for food, medicines and humanitarian goods, except dual-use ones, will be accepted for Belarus after a thorough check,” the company said.
Also, on March 4, Lithuanian furniture manufacturer MEBELAIN announced that it was suspending its work in Belarus. And Lithuanian Vakaru medienos grupe (VMG), which produces wood boards and furniture, stopped its enterprise in Belarus.
On March 10, Japanese printer manufacturer Epson said it was suspending supplies of its products to Belarus and Russia because of the crisis in Ukraine. The company said that Epson was concerned about the conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in the region. Epson is one of the largest manufacturers of printers, scanners, desktop computers, projectors and other electronic devices.
On March 10, US manufacturer of agricultural equipment, John Deere, said it had decided to suspend deliveries to Russia and Belarus. The company manufactures construction and logging equipment, gardening equipment, snow blowers and engines.
Beer producers Olvi PLC and Plzensky Prazdroj also left Belarus. Olvi PLC announced its withdrawal from the shareholders of JSC “Lidskoe”. The exit may take 6 to 12 months. And Plzensky Prazdroj does not accept export orders to Russia and Belarus.
On March 14, the German pharmaceutical company Bayer said it was suspending investments in Russia and Belarus and ending all non-core business here. It also ceased all non-core activities, not related to the supply of basic goods from health care and agriculture. The company will suspend advertising activities, stop investing in projects and refuse new business offers.
On April 1, the Danish industrial company Danfoss decided to withdraw from the markets in Russia and Belarus due to sanctions against the two countries and logistical difficulties. Employees in the plants in these countries will be laid off. The company is engaged in the production of thermal automation and refrigeration equipment.
IT and computer games
Many computer game manufacturers decided to leave Belarus after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. CD Projekt RED, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, mobile game makers Supercell, Rovio and Niantic closed access to their games for gamers from Belarus and stopped sales. Sony, which sells console games, has stopped selling PLAYSTATION in our country.
Not only game manufacturers are leaving, but also computer hardware manufacturers. For example, two major world manufacturers of computer chips, INTEL and AMD, announced the suspension of supplies of their products to customers in Belarus. It means that the export of chips from Chinese companies will increase in the country.
On March 4, the American network equipment supplier Cisco Systems announced that it was suspending all its business operations in Belarus and Russia. The company will focus on supporting employees, customers and partners from Ukraine. The manufacturer will also provide humanitarian aid and strengthen measures to protect Ukrainian organizations from cyber threats.
On March 9, 3D model sales site Turbosquid CG Traider blocked the accounts of artists from the Russian Federation and Belarus. It is no longer possible to withdraw money from the site. Database management system MongoDB also disabled accounts of Russian and Belarusian users. The mobile app Strava did the same. Its services do not work on the territory of the aggressor countries.
On March 11, ESET, an anti-virus vendor headquartered in Slovakia, stopped selling its products to home users, organizations and businesses in Belarus. Another antivirus vendor, Avast, also refused to sell its products in Russia and Belarus and provided free license updates for Ukrainian users. The developers of the Norton antivirus made a similar decision.
The virtualization software developer VMWARE announced the suspension of its activities. TERRASOFT, a developer of corporate business process management software Creatio, also left the Belarusian market.
On April 4, Wargaming, the game World of Tanks developer, announced its decision to leave Belarus. The company employed about 2 thousand people in its Minsk office. Wargaming has begun the process of closing its studio in Minsk. The company noted that it would provide local employees with the “maximum” severance pay.
The closure of shops (although not all of them) has also affected Belarus. Famous Swedish brand H&M closed all shops in our country (in Minsk and Hrodna). Jewellery company Pandora has stopped all operations with Belarus and Russia. Clothing retailers Farfetch, Burberry and ASOS either do not deliver orders to Belarus.
The largest food supplements marketplace IHERB declared that it had been forced to temporarily stop processing new orders to send to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova since February 28. The marketplace stopped accepting orders from Russia on February 24, right after the war.
Amazon Web Services also does not accept customers from Belarus. In addition, Amazon is stopping the delivery of retail goods to customers in Russia and Belarus. And the marketplace Wildberries, OZON and AliExpress have encountered difficulties in Belarus. They have problems with payment by cards of sanctioned banks or banks of non-residents of the Russian Federation. Since March 10, OZON orders can only be paid by BELKART cards or cards of Russian banks.
Belarus is already feeling the consequences of the war, no matter how much Lukashenko boasts and his henchmen say that sanctions will only make us stronger. Belarusians are not happy that the whole world considers us enemies, that international companies and manufacturers are leaving our country. We are actively fighting the war by all available means. “Our House” has chosen to help refugees and repressed Belarusians, to tell an honest story about what is happening in the country.