Russian Netflix members are suing the streaming provider for temporarily suspending access in the country in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The firm is one of hundreds of Western businesses that have fled Russia since the invasion began.
According to a recent story at Deadline, the legal firm Chernyshov, Lukoyanov & Partners is pursuing a class action lawsuit against Netflix on behalf of customers, causing a major impact on the Russian economy. The complaint has been filed at Moscow’s Khamovnichesky district court.
Even before withdrawing completely from Russia, Netflix irritated the government by refusing to add 20 Russian free-to-air channels, including Channel One.
A legislation forcing streamers to comply had been approved, but Netflix refused to offer the channels, citing worries over the invasion of Ukraine as their rationale for refusing to broadcast the channels, which are likely to disseminate official government propaganda.
Netflix’s Russian activities are managed by Entertainment Online Service, a subsidiary of National Media Group and a part-owner of Channel One.
“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 suit is seeking 60 million roubles ($724,000) in compensation.
According to the Deadline report, Netflix has fewer than 1 million subscribers in Russia and has been active there as a local-language service for less than one year. Besides terminating service to consumers, Netflix pulled out of all their Russian original productions earlier this year.