Spotify has shuttered its office space in Russia indefinitely, Variety reports and a Spotify spokesperson tells Pitchfork. The decision to close the Moscow post comes amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the unprovoked attack on Ukraine,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement, shared with Pitchfork. “Our first priority over the past week has been the safety of our employees and to ensure that Spotify continues to serve as an important source of global and regional news at a time when access to information is more important than ever.”
Elsewhere in the statement, the spokesperson said that Spotify will provide “individual support to [its] personnel in the region as well as our global community of Ukrainian employees.” Spotify has also restricted the discoverability of content owned and operated by Russian state-affiliated media, and removed all RT and Sputnik content from the streaming platform in the European Union and other markets.
Spotify will not disable streaming within Russia. “We think it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to allow for the global flow of information,” the statement reads.
Countless artists and organizations have displayed solidarity with Ukraine in recent days. Russian rapper Oxxxymiron canceled six sold out concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg, protesting President Vladimir V. Putin and the country’s invasion. Green Day, HEALTH, Nick Cave, and more have followed suit in canceling Russian shows.
The European Broadcasting Union banned Russia from the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. Noted activist and Pussy Riot co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova has sold NFTs to raise funds for Ukrainian civilian groups. And, this past weekend Saturday Night Live opened with a performance by the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York, who sang “Prayer for Ukraine.”