Russian bailiffs seize $10M from Google in fines, the money to go toward the war in Ukraine

The Russian magazine TJ has published news about the court ruling between the Russian subsidiary of Google and the Russian Orthodox TV channel Tsargrad. The latter claims to have received 1 billion rubles ($10 million).

  • In 2020, Tsargrad sued Google in Russia for blocking its YouTube channel. The reason for the blocking was that the channel’s owner, Konstantin Malofeev, was under US sanctions. And, of course, the court did not side with Google.
  • According to the court ruling, Russia’s Google had to restore access to the channel in five days and pay a 100,000 ruble fine. The penalty for each day of non-compliance with the decision was a doubling of the fine until it hit 1 billion rubles.
  • Now, according to Tsargrad, the court has forcibly seized the 1 billion rubles from Google in Russia by withdrawing funds from the company’s previously blocked account in Russia.

The key point is that, according to Tsargrad, the funds actually earned by Google will be used to finance the so-called “special military operation” — the war in Ukraine. For example, $10 million is enough to buy four tanks.

Google has not yet commented on this information. Moreover, Google’s services still work in Russia, even though its funds were (or still are) used to finance the war.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, Google has removed some of its staff from Russia, fearing pressure from the authorities.

Google earned 85 billion rubles in Russia in 2021. It is unknown how much of it remained in the accounts. At the same time, Tsargrad writes that the court will remove the 1 billion ruble limit, and the fine will continue to grow. So we can expect further withdrawals.