The Interfax news agency reported that Google’s Russia subsidiary had filed for bankruptcy, according to online filings.
Google Russia announced plans to file for bankruptcy in May after the authorities confiscated its bank accounts, making it impossible for the company to pay salaries to employees and pay partners, as well as fulfill other financial obligations.
Russia has banned access to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram since the outbreak of conflict with Ukraine. Google and YouTube, despite the pressure, are still usable in the country. Moscow is particularly opposed to the way YouTube treats Russian media. However, Anton Gorelkin, deputy chair of the Duma Information Policy Committee, said the US company is not likely to be banned.
The personnel who are working for Google Russia have two options: Switch to another branch or quit. According to the Wall Street Journal, most choose to move to Dubai. Google began reallocating personnel in March, shortly after Russia began attacking Ukraine.
The Russia-Ukraine war further worsened already strained relations between the Kremlin and Google. A Russian court fined Google for not taking down content deemed pro-Ukrainian and showing false reports about Russian military losses on YouTube.
Like other Western technology firms, Google downsized its operations in Russia, suspended advertising in the country, and stopped accepting advertising orders from Russian organizations. Russian Android users cannot purchase apps and services via Google Play because the payment system is suspended.
Although commercial activities must stop, Google is committed to providing free online services, such as email, web search, to Russians.