• Ukraine’s vice prime minister asked Xbox and PlayStation to block Russian gamers’ accounts.
  • He appealed to the wider gaming industry, asking for an esports contest ban for Russian players.
  • He said this would “motivate the citizens of Russia” to oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, sent an open letter asking Xbox and PlayStation to block Russian and Belarusian players in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The letter, which was published on Federov’s Twitter account, was addressed to “all game development companies” but he specifically tagged PlayStation and Xbox.

Russia launched its military attack on Ukraine last Thursday. Belarus is a longtime ally of Russia.

Fedorov’s letter asked companies to stop Russian and Belarusian esports players from participating in international competitions.

“We are sure that such actions will motivate the citizens of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression,” Fedorov wrote.

Neither PlayStation nor Xbox immediately replied when contacted by Insider outside of normal working hours about Federov’s appeal.

Esports company ESL announced on Wednesday it would ban esports teams with “apparent ties to the Russian government,” saying it had already ruled out two teams.

Federov’s letter to the gaming industry closely resembles another letter he sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking that the company suspend its services in Russia.