Russia’s ex-president and the deputy chair of the Russian federation’s security council, Dmitry Medvedev, on Sunday, March 26 asked the Russians to download pirated movies to make the American streaming service company Netflix “go bankrupt.” “You know what? Look for the right pirates and download from them. If they’re gone, all those Netflixes and others, then we’ll download it all, we’ll use it for free. And I would scatter it all over the network in order to cause them maximum damage. Maximum damage to make them go bankrupt!” Medvedev said in an interview with Russia’s state-affiliated agency VKontakte, Tass and others.

“If they left us, all sorts of Netflix and others, then we will download it all, we will use it for free. And I would scatter it all over the Web in order to cause them maximum damage. Maximum damage so that they go bankrupt!” Medvedev stressed.

Last year, scores of prominent Hollywood and Silicon Valley businesses cut ties from streaming or broadcasting in the Russian state programming. American companies expressed concerns about the “proliferation of Russian propaganda” and “disinformation” related to military operations in neighbouring Ukraine. Apple, Netflix, TikTok, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, and dozens of firms either distanced themselves or were banned by Kremlin. Moscow Times had reported that audiovisuals service Netflix had entered Russia in December, and was asked to comply with a law that would require the streaming service to broadcast Russian federal television channels—Channel One—as well as Russian Orthodox Church channel in Russia. 

Netflix, in a statement, said that it will not follow the rule and paused all the projects and streamings. “Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” Netflix noted. 

The ex-Russian President stressed that Russian citizens have a right to download and distribute pirated copies of Netflix films that they must distribute over the internet. He was referring to the movies that have become inaccessible in Russia due to the decision of Western copyright holders not to stream them. Medvedev derided the sudden disappearance of movies and music, in particular, of some Western music from online services in Russia in response to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Russian sports ‘seeing difficult times’

Medvedev also told Tass that Russian sports are “seeing difficult times,” as he condemned the ban on Russian athletes by the International Olympic Committee and other international sports organizations. He slammed such restrictions as “politically motivated.” 

“They [Russian athletes] not taking part in competitions obviously stems from politically motivated decisions by sports organizations. Shame on them. I mean everybody, including, naturally, the Olympic Committee and its leadership,” Medvedev told Tass.

Medvedev had earlier emphasized that it was impossible for Russia to lose the ongoing war as it would “disappear” and be shredded to pieces. “If Russia stops the special military operation without achieving victory, Russia will disappear, it will be torn to pieces. If the US stops supplying weapons to the Kyiv regime, the war will end,” he said in a Telegram post.

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