Canva did not leave Russia at the start of the war, but has now changed its mind and withdrawn

At the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Australian graphic design business Canva condemned this aggression. But it stayed in the Russian market. On June 1, 2022, the company announced that it was leaving Russia.

  • On March 4, a week after the war began, the company issued an official statement. Canva condemned the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine and announced that it had blocked all payments in the Russian market to ensure that it was not making any financial contributions to the Russian economy. But at the same time, it kept the service available.
  • “We continue to keep Canva available to our Russian community to create pro-peace and anti-war content as well as to use Canva for education and nonprofits,” the statement says.
  • On June 1, 2022, three months after the war began, the company decided to withdraw completely from the Russian market. The company’s co-founder Cliff Obrecht wrote a post explaining the decision.
  • According to him, with the escalation of hostilities and increased pressure from the Russian government on protests and activists, “the situation has changed,” and the company’s response to it must change as well.

“Though there was room for voices and protest during the early stages of the war, the Russian government has now shut down the vast majority of communication channels, making it impossible for people to voice dissent. Those who do find workarounds or stand up in opposition to the government now face horrendous charges and prison sentences for speaking out,” he says.

In other words, the company explains its decision by the fact that censorship in the country has tightened. But it is not very important what the statement says — what matters is that another well-known brand refused to cooperate with Russia.