Google’s Russian subsidiary plans to file for bankruptcy because it is unable to pay its employees and suppliers.
Google LLC, a Russian subsidiary of the American internet giant, issued a notice of its intention to declare bankruptcy to a national registry, Fedresurs.
“The Russian authorities’ seizure of Google Russia’s bank account has made it untenable for our Russia office to function, including employing and paying Russia-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations,” a Google spokesperson said.
“Google Russia has published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy.”
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Google has been undoubtedly Russia’s greatest antagonist in opposing the controlled media’s war narrative within the country. In March, Google suspended all advertising in Russia, blocked state-run Russian media YouTube channels globally, and, most importantly, refused to erase content about the war from Youtube that was deemed illegal.
Furthermore, due to the crisis, Google has relocated many of its staff out of Russia. Some, though, had opted to stay there.
The Russian communications regulator has threatened to punish Google if it does not remove specific content, and Google News was blocked in Russia last month for publishing “inauthentic” information about the crisis.
However, Google recently stated that it would continue to provide its free services in Russia, including Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, the Android operating system, and the Play store.
“People in Russia rely on our services to access quality information,” the Google spokesperson said in a statement explaining its intention to keep its services running.
According to the TASS news agency, Rostelecom Chief Executive Mikhail Oseevskiy announced on Wednesday that Google was operating fine in the country, including all its servers.
Aside from YouTube, the Russian Kremlin has another information opponent based in the United States: Wikipedia. The Russian government has threatened to penalise Wikipedia for refusing to remove information about the war.
In an interview with state media earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin weighed in on the Kremlin’s war on Wikipedia, advising Russians not to trust the crowd-sourced encyclopaedia.