Concerts, movies, other entertainment pull out of Russia after Putin invades Ukraine

As Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine rages on, some artists and film studios are nixing plans in Russia – joining intensifying bans and boycotts intended to penalize the country for its unprovoked attack.

Putin began his assault on Ukraine on Feb. 24, slowly encroaching into the one-time Soviet Republic that has expressed a desire to join NATO. International backlash followed swiftly in the form of sanctions against Russia by the United States and a host of other countries.

Beyond international economic repercussions, organizations and people have found other ways to condemn Putin’s actions, such as a worldwide sports organization outlawing a Russian team from competing in events to bars and clubs boycotting the use of Russian vodka.

The entertainment industry is joining in, too. Here’s a list of the concerts, shows and movies being pulled from Russia, along with other statements from the cultural community, amid the crisis.

Condemning Putin:From soccer to vodka, here are some sanctions, bans and boycotts placed on Russia.

Film festivals

Cannes Film Festival

Organizers of Cannes Film Festival announced that the international festival, scheduled for May, “will not welcome official Russian delegations nor accept the presence of anyone linked to the Russian government.”.

The statement says that won’t change “unless the war of assault ends in conditions that will satisfy the Ukrainian people.”.

The festival didn’t rule out accepting films from Russia in the competition. In recent years, Cannes has showcased films from filmmakers like Kirill Serebrennikov, who is under a three-year travel ban after being accused of embezzlement by the Russian government in a case that was protested by the Russian artistic community and in Europe.

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Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival said it would organize free screenings of “Reflection,” a film about the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, as a sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The screenings are scheduled for next week in Rome, Milan and Venice.

The film, which was presented in competition at Venice last year, tells the story of a Ukrainian surgeon who is taken prisoner by Russia during the Donbas conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Concerts, music and shows

Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group announced in a statement they would “immediately” be closing their Russian offices and operations.

“We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible. We are adhering to international sanctions and, along with our employees and artists, have been working with groups from a range of countries to support humanitarian relief efforts to bring urgent aid to refugees in the region,” the label stated.

Eurovision Song Contest

The European Broadcasting Union announced that Russia will not be allowed an entry in this year’s splashy singing competition. The union said in a statement that given the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry would bring the competition into “disrepute.”.

This year’s finale is being held in Turin, Italy, on May 14. Ukraine will be represented by Kalush Orchestra.

Imagine Dragons

The band has canceled all shows in Russia and Ukraine “until further notice,” they announced on Instagram. “Our thoughts are with Ukraine and all others suffering from this needless war,” the post added.

Louis Tomlinson

The English singer-songwriter shared a statement similar to Imagine Dragons, canceling his upcoming shows in Moscow and Kyiv. “The safety of my fans is my priority,” his statement said.

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Green Day

Green Day canceled its concert scheduled for May 29 at Spartak Stadium in Moscow, according to Billboard and Variety.

“We are aware that this moment is not about stadium rock shows, it’s much bigger than that,” the band said in a statement to Variety. “But we also know that rock and roll is forever and we feel confident there will be a time and a place for us to return in the future. Stay safe.”.


The “heartbroken” English musician announced he is canceling all his Russian shows this summer.

“Heartbroken because I know the vicious and brutal acts of the Russian regime in Ukraine over the past week do not reflect the attitudes and ideals of the beautiful people who I have met in Russia in the past!” He wrote. He added that his “heart is with” the people of Ukraine and promised to return there as soon as he could.


The indie pop trio canceled an upcoming show in Russia, they announced on Twitter. “Thank you to our Russian fans who oppose their country’s unprovoked and criminal behavior. Our hearts are with the people of Ukraine.”.

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Russia is not a leading market for Hollywood, but the country typically ranks in the top dozen countries globally in box office. “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which has totaled $1.85 billion in ticket sales worldwide, grossed $46.7 million in Russia. Still, studios are pausing the release of their films in the country.

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‘The Batman’

Warner Bros. Halted the release of much anticipated film “The Batman” in Russia, just days before it was to open in theaters there.

“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia,” the studio said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”.

‘Turning Red’

Warner Bros. Decision arrived after Walt Disney Co. Pulled its premiere of Pixar film “Turning Red” in Russia on March 10. That film is going straight to Disney+ in the U.S.

The studio is pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, Disney said in a statement.


Sony soon followed suit, also announcing a pause to its theatrical releases in Russia, including upcoming Spider-Man spinoff “Morbius,” slated for early April. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly,” a statement from the studio said.

‘The Lost City’ and ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’

Upcoming releases from Paramount, including “The Lost City” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” have also been paused in Russia. “We stand by all those impacted by the humanitarian crisis across Ukraine, Russia, and our international markets and will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds,” the studio said in a statement.

‘Ambulance’ and ‘The Bad Guys’

Universal has followed suit and paused its theatrical releases – including “Ambulance” and “The Bad Guys,” scheduled for April – “in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” the studio said in a statement.

Films pulled from Russia:Warner Bros. ‘The Batman,’ Disney’s ‘Turning Red,’ more studios pause Russia film releases.

Contributing: USA TODAY and The Associated Press.