Russian media has claimed that Intel and Microsoft have started up their business in Russia and Belarus once again following an inital stop as a result of the former's invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions imposed on the country.
Intel had reportedly suspended all shipments to Russia in February 2022, two months before it halted all business operations there, leaving Russian customers without access to software updates and other downloads.
It has also been reported that Microsoft has since allowed Windows 11 updates in Russia, however customers in the country are still unable to download and install the company’s latest operating system.
Intel and Microsoft in Russia
As a result, Russian media reported that the blocks were preventing companies like Intel from fulfilling warranty obligations, while some customers turned to VPNs, torrents, and other sources to find copies.
According to Intel (via Tom’s Hardware): “access to resources that meet driver update needs, such as the Intel Download Center and Intel Download Support Assistant, are part of Intel's warranty obligations”, suggesting that it may have reinstated access to certain products purely on the basis of warranty compliance.
Another source is reported to have told Tom’s Hardware that, while Intel had blocked downloads in Russia earlier in 2022, access was restored later that year.
Some Russian media sources claim that it is possible, once more, to access the Intel download portal without having to use tools like a VPN, however the portal had to be found by a search engine as the main portion of Intel’s site is still said to be inaccessible in Russia.
TechRadar Pro reached out to both companies with regards to the resumption of operations in Russia. Intel told us:
There have been no recent changes to our operations; Intel continues to comply with all applicable export regulations and sanctions in the countries in which it operates. This includes compliance with the sanctions and export controls against Russia and Belarus issued by the US and allied nations. Access to resources that meet driver update needs, such as the Intel Download Center and Intel Download Support Assistant (IDSA), are part of Intel’s warranty obligations."
A Microsoft spokesperson said:
"As we shared previously, we have stopped all new product and services sales in Russia and are complying with sanctions from the EU, UK and US."
- Here are the best online collaboration tools around
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!