U.S. Cloud Service Giants Take Action Against Russia

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The largest cloud providers in the U.S. are responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The five largest U.S. cloud service providers are taking action against Russia following the country’s invasion of neighboring nation Ukraine.

The cloud giants—Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Google—host everything from government workloads to many of the global apps and services used by tens of millions of people each day within their data centers. Like most governments, major companies and other tech firms, the cloud providers are using their actions to condemn Russia’s invasion.

On March 2, Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy tweeted support for Ukraine, and the company’s cloud arm, AWS, subsequently announced it would provide cybersecurity assistance to the country. AWS, which hosts some of the U.S. government’s most sensitive data, also announced on March 4 it would no longer accept new customers in Russia or Belarus.

Also on March 2, Oracle announced it had suspended operations in Russia. The company made the announcement via tweet, and later tweeted the company is “doing everything we can to support our Ukrainian customers.”

In similar action, Microsoft President Brad Smith outlined why his company suspended “all new sales of Microsoft products and services” in a March 4 blog post.

“In addition, we are coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions,” Smith said.

IBM, which has a large office in Moscow, announced March 7 that it had suspended all its business in Russia. In the announcement, CEO Arvind Krishna outlined how IBM employees in other eastern European nations were using technology to help Ukraine-based employees and contractors flee the country, offering assistance, lodging and transportation.

“Let me be very clear—we have suspended all business in Russia,” Krishna said. “In Ukraine, we have been in constant touch with our local teams and continue to provide assistance that includes relocation and financial support. The safety and security of IBMers and their families in all areas impacted by this crisis remains our top priority.”

Google, too, will no longer allow new cloud customers, per a March 10 update on its website.

“We can confirm we are not accepting new Google Cloud customers in Russia at this time. We will continue to closely monitor developments,” a Google spokesperson told Nextgov.

Free Google services, including Search, Gmail and YouTube “are still operating in Russia,” according to the announcement. 

Nextgov’s Brandi Vincent contributed to this report.