Netflix’s Russian Subscribers Sue Over Halted Service

Netflix subscribers in Russia are reportedly suing the streaming service for suspending local service following the country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Netflix halted its service and stopped all acquisitions and original Russian-created productions such as detective drama Zato in the territory last month as Western businesses withdrew from the country en masse. 

The withdrawal of service has led to law firm Chernyshov, Lukoyanov & Partners launching a class action suit against the streaming giant with the Khamovnichesky district court of Moscow on behalf of the subs, according to local news agency RIA.

“The reason for the lawsuit was a violation of Russian users’ rights due to Netflix’s unilateral refusal to provide services in Russia,” the firm said in a statement.

The subscribers are looking for 60M roubles ($724,000) in compensation.

Netflix has less than 1M local subscribers and has only operated as a local-language service for less than one year.

In February, Netflix refused to comply with a law dictating it must carry 20 Russian free-to-air channels such as Channel One, as concerns grew around the military invasion of Ukraine.

Netflix’s Russian operation is run by Entertainment Online Service, a subsidiary of National Media Group, a part-owner of Channel One.

Deadline has reached out to Netflix for comment.

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