Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling on Microsoft to take the drastic measure of pulling the plug on all software support for users in Russia.
Zelensky made the request on Sunday, more than a week after Microsoft decided to suspend all “new sales” of company products and services in Russia due to the Kremlin’s “unjustified, unprovoked, and unlawful” invasion of Ukraine, Microsoft said at the time.
However, Zelensky is signaling the sales stoppage isn’t enough since it does little to address Microsoft’s existing customers in Russia, who can still use the company’s Windows software and Xbox consoles.
There “can be no ‘half’ decisions or ‘halftones,’” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “There is only black and white, good or evil! You are either for peace or support the bloody Russian aggressor to kill Ukrainian children and women.”
In the same tweet, Ukraine’s president calls on Microsoft, as well as enterprise providers SAP and Oracle, to stop supporting their products in Russia to help end the war in Ukraine.
In Microsoft’s case, pulling the software support would mean Windows users across Russia would no longer receive new features or security updates, which could leave their machines vulnerable to malicious threats.
Oracle, on the other hand, has already taken the extreme step of stopping software updates to systems in Russia. In a tweet to Zelesnsky, the company wrote: “access to support has been cut off and software updates and patches are no longer available for download. Oracle has suspended all consulting and advanced customer support services.”
Microsoft and SAP, which has also paused sales in Russia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the request from Ukraine’s president arrives when there’s growing debate over how far the US and its European allies should go to cut off Russia from access to technology. Although the intent is to pressure the Kremlin to end the war, the escalating tech ban is also disrupting the lives of Russian citizens who have no say in military actions.
In the meantime, the Kremlin is working to legalize software piracy to circumvent techs ban in the country. On Monday, the Russian government also blocked access to Instagram, which has 80 millions users in the country.