Google has reportedly pulled out of Russia, and many employees there have moved to Dubai.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that most of Google’s Russia-based employees had chosen to leave the country, and that the company will soon have no workforce presence in Russia amid the country’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
Russian authorities reportedly emptied Google’s main Russian bank account after a court froze it in March. Unnamed sources declined to tell the Journal how much the government took, but it left Google without the money to pay its Russia-based employees and vendors. As a result, Google’s Russian subsidiary will file for bankruptcy, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Google told Reuters and the Journal that it will continue to offer free services in Russia, including Search, YouTube, Gmail and Maps. But Google hasn’t brought back advertising operations in Russia since suspending them in March. Russia also banned Facebook and Instagram in March after calling Meta "extremist."
"The Russian authorities’ seizure of Google Russia’s bank account has made it untenable for our Russia office to function, including employing and paying Russia-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations," a spokesperson from Google told Protocol. "People in Russia rely on our services to access quality information."
This story was updated on May 19 to include a statement from Google.