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No Dostoevsky in Italian university, ban on Russian cats — fallout of Russia-Ukraine war

Apple has halted the sale of iPhone in Russia. Even musicians have opted out of performing in Russian venues in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

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New Delhi: As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues unabated, the list of entities banning the world’s largest country and discontinuing their services in the nation is growing longer each day. 

From cat federation banning Russian cats to an Italian university refusing to teach a course on Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky to tech giant Apple discontinuing sales in Russia, here is a compilation of some startling fallouts of the war:

Joining the list are several sports bodies that have barred Russia from participating in competitions is a cat federation that has banned Russian cats from its events as it was “shocked and horrified” over the war in Ukraine.

A French organisation  — Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) — with members in about 40 countries, has banned Russian felines from participating in its events for the next three months.

“No cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside Russia, regardless of, which organisation issued its pedigree,” FIFe said in a statement.

The federation, which considers itself “the United Nations of Cat Federations”, has also put a stop to exhibitions of cats belonging to exhibitors living in Russia.

Cats are hugely popular in Russia. In 2019, the German public broadcaster DW News reported that, “No country in the world has a higher rate of cat ownership. Nearly 60 percent of Russians have at least one cat”.

The global backlash against the invasion by Russian President Vladimir Putin also saw a ban from an unexpected quarter — a university in Italy’s Milan had announced to halt a course on Dostoevsky, before backtracking on its decision.

According to Newsweek, Italian writer Paolo Nori said on Instagram that he was informed by University of Milano-Bicocca officials over mail about the decision to postpone his course following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Nori said he had been invited by the university to deliver a four-session course on Dostoevsky, whose prominent works include Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

iPhones, GM, Volvo suspend business in Russia

Apple Inc. halted sales of iPhones along with its other products in Russia starting last week. The tech giant said that it stopped exporting products in the country’s sales channel a week before pausing sales, Bloomberg reported.

On 1 March, Swedish automaker Volvo Cars announced it would suspend car shipments to the Russian market until further notice, becoming the first international automaker to go forth with such a move.

A day later, GM also said it would suspend all vehicle exports to Russia. Volkswagen in Russia also temporarily halted deliveries of cars to dealers. 

Hunting down yachts

As the West has clamped down Russia with stringent sanctions, a lot of which have been aimed directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rich friends, countries have started seizing the possessions of the ultra-rich Russians.

Last Thursday, a yacht linked to Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russian oil giant Rosneft, one of the world’s largest crude oil producers, was seized by France.

Another Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has also been slapped with sanctions. His superyacht Dilbar is undergoing a refit in Hamburg and is now at risk of being seized, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, Putin managed to secure his super yacht by moving it from Germany to a port in Russia’s Kaliningrad, two weeks before the invasion of Ukraine.

Cancellation of sports, music events

International sports federations have reprimanded Russia for its invasion of Ukraine by imposing bans on Russian and Belarusian sports bodies and athletes and cancelling sports events in the two countries.

The International Olympic Committee has called on sports federations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes, officials and teams from international events wherever possible.

Belarus has been a key ally of Russia in its attack on Ukraine.

Russian and Belarusian gymnasts and officials have been banned from international competition indefinitely, the sport’s global governing body.

Fifa and UEFA have suspended Russian football clubs and national teams from all their competitions. World Rugby, International Tennis Federation and Badminton World Federation have also suspended Russian and Belarusian bodies and athletes of these sports from their events.

Formula 1 has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix.

Apart from a boycott by the international sports communities, musicians have also cancelled their upcoming concerts in Russia. Artists including Green Day, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Killers, Louis Tomlinson and Bjork have dropped Russia from their list of performance venues, reported.

Also read: From 1962 to Ukraine—three lessons for India’s non-alignment policy


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