March 25 (UPI) — Spotify is suspending services in Russia due to the new Russian law restricting media coverage of the Ukraine war.
“Spotify has continued to believe that it’s critically important to try and keep our service operational in Russia to provide trusted, independent news and information in the region,” Spotify said in a statement. “Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation further restricting access to information, eliminating free expression, and criminalizing certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify’s employees and possibly even our listeners at risk.”
Spotify expects its Russian services to be fully suspended by early April.
The new Russian media law provides for up to 15 years in prison for journalists who disrespect the Russian military and/or file stories the Russian government considers false.
Spotify removed content from Russia’s RT and Sputnik media outlets in March. This suspension will shut down Spotify’s streaming service in Russia.
Spotify said the recent Russian media law requires it to censor some streaming content in Russia.
Russia’s media crackdown since it invaded Ukraine has impacted several social media companies doing business and providing service in Russia.
Thursday the Russian government restricted access to Google News.