Ukraine calls for PlayStation and Xbox to block Russian accounts

By Heidi Nicholas,
Mykhailo Fedorov, deputy prime minister of Ukraine, shared a letter on Twitter addressed to PlayStation, Xbox, and more, asking for Russian and Belorussian accounts to be blocked.

The letter (thanks, Eurogamer) addresses PlayStation, Xbox, all game developers, and all esports platforms. "The Russian Federation has carried out a deceptive and outrageous military attack on my country," Fedorov begins. "Just imagine, in 2022, cruise missiles attack residential neighbourhoods, kindergartens and hospitals in the heart of Europe. The armed forces and citizens are defending Ukraine till the end! The whole world is repelling the aggressor through the imposition of sanctions - the enemy must suffer significant losses. But we need your support — in 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers (hrad) and missiles."

Fedorov continues, adding, "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 Belorussian accounts, temporarily stop the participation of Russian and Belorussian teams and gamers in all international esports events and cancel all 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."

We haven't yet seen a response from the Xbox or PlayStation teams to Fedorov's statement, although Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and vice-chair, explained how the company has taken action around "protecting Ukraine from cyberattacks; protection from state-sponsored disinformation campaigns; support for humanitarian assistance; and the protection of our employees." For instance, Smith says that "In recent days, we have provided threat intelligence and defensive suggestions to Ukrainian officials regarding attacks on a range of targets, including Ukrainian military institutions and manufacturers and several other Ukrainian government agencies. This work is ongoing." The statement also outlines the steps undertaken to "reduce the exposure of Russian state propaganda," and explains how Microsoft is supporting humanitarian organisations such as the ICRC as well as activating the "Microsoft Disaster Response team to provide technology support." Microsoft is also providing "ongoing and extraordinary efforts" to help its employees.

Several developers and publishers have pledged financial support for Ukraine — for instance, Ubisoft recently explained how it would support staff by providing additional funding and emergency housing.

Fedorov shared the letter with a Tweet reading, "You are definitely aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now. Russia declare war not for Ukraine but for all civilized world. If you support human values, you should live [sic] the Russian market!"
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!
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