Netflix refuses to run Russian state-run channels — and The Batman pulled in Russia

Netflix logo on a TV screen with a remote pointing at it
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Netflix has said no (or nyet) to streaming Russian propaganda channels on its service in the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

This is in spite of a new Russian law that, when brought into effect, would mandate streaming services operating in the nation to carry 20 Russian broadcast channels, notably Channel One, a state-funded channel. According to Variety, Netflix is on a register of content distributors that can reach more than 100,000 subscribers maintained by the Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulator. 

But Netflix has told The Verge that it won’t play ball with these rules: “Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” a unmanned Netflix spokesperson told the publication. 

This is rather understandable given Channel One has been touting the message of Russia being a savior of eastern Ukraine, rather than its invader. And as a U.S. company. it's equally unsurprising that Netflix won’t kowtow to Russia’s potential controlling law.

The Batman and other movies on pause in Russia

Netflix doesn't stand alone in this streaming and content defiance, as Disney, Sony and Warner Bros have all paused movie releases in Russia in response to its Ukraine invasion. Turning Red, Morbius and The Batman won’t be coming to Russian cinema, at least as long as the country’s army remains in Ukraine. 

While restricting services or refusing to host propaganda might seem like a small move, when Ukrainian civilians are taking up arms to defend their nation, it’s a demonstration of the widespread condemnation of Russia’s military action. 

The invasion has disrupted Ukraine’s infrastructure and civilian population, but there are ways to help Ukraine with donations. Just be aware that some scammers are trying to exploit this terrible situation

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.