Netflix suspends streaming in Russia, puts Ukraine's Fight for Freedom documentary on YouTube

Netflix has suspended its streaming service in Russia as the invasion of Ukraine continues and Russian leaders and military forces are accused of a range of war crimes.

Last week, Netflix temporarily halted all future projects and acquisitions in Russia as it assessed the impact of Moscow's war on Ukraine, before undertaking the blanket suspension.

"Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia," a Netflix spokesperson said.

Netflix earlier said it had no plans to add state-run channels to its Russian service, despite a regulation that would require it to distribute state-backed channels.

The US-based company had four Russian originals in the works, including a crime thriller series directed by Darya Zhuk.

Netflix launched in Russia in 2016 and has around a million subscribers in the country, a very small portion of its 222 million global customers.

In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Netflix has also made its documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom available to watch for free for anyone on YouTube.

The 2015 feature documents the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014 as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution, calling for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovich.

When pro-Russia Yanukovich was overthrown, Russian President Vladimir Putin used it as an excuse to invade the Crimean Peninsula, which he subsequently annexed and retains control over to this day.

Putin's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, with the number of refugees surpassing 1.7 million, according to United Nations' figures.