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Google stops selling ads in Russia

Apple and Airbnb have also shuttered their businesses in the country

Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., on Jan. 27. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

Google brought its ad business in Russia to a halt, joining a growing number of companies that were partially or fully pulling out of the country after it invaded Ukraine.

The tech giant paused all search, YouTube and display network ads early Friday after the Russian government asked it to block ads related to Ukraine. The move came just hours before Airbnb said it would pause its business in Russia and Belarus and three days after Apple said it would stop selling its phones and computers there.

“In light of the extraordinary circumstances, we’re pausing Google ads in Russia. The situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to share updates when appropriate,” Google spokesperson Michael Aciman said in a statement.

As Russia presses deeper into Ukraine and world leaders respond with strict sanctions, corporations are beginning to cut off business in the country, too, responding to public pressure, requests from their employees, and legal requirements to follow the new sanctions.

Earlier this week, Google’s YouTube video service began blocking Russian state media channels in Europe, after requests from Ukrainian and European politicians, and the company has also offered to provide free services to Ukrainian government websites to protect them from cyberattacks.