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Universal Music Group ceases operations in Russia

"We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible,” UMG said in a statement

By Nick Reilly

Universal Music logo
Universal Music has ceased operations in Russia (Picture: Alamy)

Universal Music Group has confirmed it is ceasing operations in Russia, becoming the latest high-profile company to pull out since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine last month.

It comes after similar action was taken last week by the likes of Spotify and Netflix – which ceased its streaming service’s operations in the country.

“Effective immediately, we are suspending all operations in Russia and closing our offices there. We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible,” a statement from Universal confirmed.

“We are adhering to international sanctions and, along with our employees and artists, have been working with groups from a range of countries… to support humanitarian relief efforts to bring urgent aid to refugees in the region.”

Variety subsequently reports that company staff will continue to receive their salaries, but artists are likely to see their recording time coming to an end for an undetermined amount of time.

Concert promotion giant Live Nation also confirmed last week that it will stop promoting concerts in Russia indefinitely.

Live Nation has an enormous global reach, operating in over 40 countries and encompassing four major areas of the industry through Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, Artist Nation Management and Live Nation Media/Sponsorship.

Their statement said that Live Nation “joins the world in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and applauds all the musicians who are using their voices to promote peace”.

A slew of artists have also decried the war and cancelled scheduled live performances in Russia, including Green DayIggy PopYungblud, Louis Tomlinson, Franz Ferdinand, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and The Killers.