It’s weird thinking about the way that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine creates deep side effects that have little to do with the original goals of the conflict.
These complexities have helped to stress-test our broader global culture. It’s been eye-opening, in a way, to see how quickly companies have shifted their models and their messaging because of the conflict—whether it’s Starbucks or McDonald’s shuttering stores
welcoming outcry from conservatives by admitting it’s going to downrank propaganda on its search engine. (One particular example worth keeping an eye on: The Ukraine-based MacPaw
, the makers of the popular Mac-based tools SetApp and CleanMyMac, has taken a very public stance
on the conflict, to the point where it recently dropped an ad-blocking service
from its SetApp offering because it believed the app tunneled traffic through Russian servers.)
I understand why these sanctions exist, but I hope they end soon—as Russian leadership comes to its senses. But at the same time, I worry about Russian culture
being hit with the same broad brush as the Russian economy. To me, seeing concerts based around the works of Russian composers cancelled
because of this conflict is counterproductive—especially, as in the case of Tchaikovsky, they’ve long been dead. (The joke I made upon hearing this, as dark as it sounds, is whether we’re going to see boycotts of Tetris
, despite the fact that Alexey Pajitnov has lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years.)
It’s in this light that I find myself in a position where I’m helping a friend, based in Russia amid this strange conflict, keep his website online.