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Microsoft pulls Windows 10/11 installation websites in Russia

Big Tech sanctions continue to roll in, Putin retaliates with counter sanctions

Microsoft has blocked the installation of Windows 10 and 11 in Russia from the company's official website, Russian state media reported on Sunday.

Users within the country confirmed that attempts to download Windows 10 resulted in a 404 error message.

TASS reported that attempts to download a Windows 11 disk image (ISO) were diverted to a Microsoft Support contact page. The software is available, however, with a virtual private network (VPN) to disguise a computer's location – as are many other online resources.

Demand for VPNs reportedly rose by an unprecedented 2,692 percent in Russia as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter removed access to apps from the location.

In early March, Microsoft announced it would suspend new sales of Microsoft products and services in the country due to the invasion of Ukraine and "in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions."

A few days later, Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov called on the company to do more and block access to its products in the region.

This month, Microsoft announced it was making substantial cuts to its business in Russia, reportedly including the reduction of over 400 employees.

Federov has routinely called out Big Tech on Twitter for continuing to do business in Russia.

Many – including SAP, Oracle, Dell, Sony Interactive Entertainment, AMD, Intel, Ericsson, and more – have pulled out or significantly reduced their operations.

In response, Russian president Vladimir Putin threatened retaliatory sanctions, including "a ban on exporting products or raw materials manufactured or extracted in Russia when they are delivered to individuals under sanctions, or by individuals under sanctions to other individuals."

Russia is also preventing the export of millions of tons of wheat from Ukraine, an action EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned as a "real war crime" and an action that weaponizes hunger. ®

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