The Kremlin unblocked a torrent site for Russians to watch movies – but the site banned Russians from using it

A torrent site that could have been used by Russians to watch Hollywood movies despite sanctions has now banned Russian citizens from using it in solidarity with Ukraine.

Major companies such as Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, The Walt Disney Company and Paramount Pictures announced earlier this month that they were suspending upcoming film releases in Russia in response to the “humanitarian crisis”.

Titles like Batman, The Lost City, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Morbius and many others are inaccessible to Russian citizens.

In response, Russian politician Dmitry Ionin suggested that the country’s largest torrent site, RuTracker, could be unblocked to allow citizens to watch Hollywood movies.

However, RuTracker has now reportedly stated that it will block all Russian IP addresses.

RuTraсker will be inaccessible to users from Russia, even if it is removed from the register of banned sites, a representative of the platform said, according to Russian journalist Ilya Varlamov.

According to the spokesperson, the platform “in the current situation does not support any action by the Russian authorities”.

The Independent contacted RuTracker for confirmation.

Many other industries have also acted against Russia in light of the invasion of Ukraine.

In technology, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Meta (which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and Samsung, among others, have all imposed limits on their technology at the behest of the US and Ukrainian governments.

The Kremlin has said that if Russian citizens cannot access the services they need, it could legalize piracy – abolishing criminal and administrative liability “for countries that supported sanctions” against Russia.

“In terms of disclaiming liability for the use of unlicensed software, we advocate a balanced approach to stimulate the transition to Russian software,” the Russian Statistics Ministry said.

The Kremlin did not respond The Independents request for comment.

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