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Namecheap: Russia Service Termination
1735 points by exizt88 on Feb 28, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 1828 comments
Just received this email:

Dear XXXX,

Unfortunately, due to the Russian regime's war crimes and human rights violations in Ukraine, we will no longer be providing services to users registered in Russia. While we sympathize that this war may not affect your own views or opinion on the matter, the fact is, your authoritarian government is committing human rights abuses and engaging in war crimes so this is a policy decision we have made and will stand by.

If you hold any top-level domains with us, we ask that you transfer them to another provider by March 6, 2022.

Additionally, and with immediate effect, you will no longer be able to use Namecheap Hosting, EasyWP, and Private Email with a domain provided by another registrar in zones .ru, .xn--p1ai (рф), .by, .xn--90ais (бел), and .su. All websites will resolve to 403 Forbidden, however, you can contact us to assist you with your transfer to another provider.

Customer Support, Namecheap

We haven't blocked the domains, we are asking people to move. There are plenty of other choices out there when it comes to infrastructure services so this isn't "deplatforming". I sympathize with people that are not pro regime but ultimately even those tax dollars they may generate go to the regime. We have people on the ground in Ukraine being bombarded now non stop. I cannot with good conscience continue to support the Russian regime in any way, shape or form. People that are getting angry need to point that at the cause, their own government. If more grace time is necessary for some to move, we will provide it. Free speech is one thing but this decision is more about a government that is committing war crimes against innocent people that we want nothing to do with.

I get that, and you're totally entitled to do this. And you're probably right that ends justify the means. And, probably, total damage will be worth it. But, in my insignificant personal case, I will be busy moving domains and paying for transfers instead of doing what I've been doing and spending money on what I've been spending it for the last 5 days, helping people detained and/or arrested for participating in anti-war protests (as a volunteer, see https://ovdinfo.org/).

And, you know, those people you want to point at their own government, they won't get it. They're brainwashed by Putin's propaganda which has reached true Goebbels level. It was going there for a while, Putin's regime began with gradually shutting down free media 20 years ago. Yes, people do have internet, and Russian internet is full of Putin's propaganda. Russian authorities are banning websites telling the truth (yes there's a government powered DPI firewall which every major ISP has to install by law). And they're working on a law which will make it a crime with 15 years of sentence just for calling the war the war. So I wouldn't count on that. The only thing that might work is hearing the truth from friends and families, but it's very hard to talk to those people. I'm trying, though, when there's still at least some reasoning.

I'm not complaining. While I did try to fight against the regime since its beginning, I could've done more. We screwed this up, and we're responsible, and all the inconveniences we might have cannot be compared to the suffering of people of Ukraine. Just saying.

Contact us, we'll make exceptions in cases like this. Thanks for what you are doing.

Dude, right now all of us are in deep shock, while:

- some are trying to find their relatives in Ukraine

- some are coordinating and volunteering

- some are trying to get themselves and their families outside of Russia (which gets harder by the minute because of prices and sanctions)

- some are trying to smuggle at least some of the money outside, because their entire life savings are now blocked

- some are trying to preserve what they have despite ruble and market crashing

- some are hunkering down with what they have and their loved ones, trying to stockpile some food before prices skyrocket

and no one has any time to cope and process anything - don't forget usual workloads, too. planning for a week feels like it's already a strategic, not a tactical scope

I get what you're trying to do, but can't you at least give more time for everyone? Right now I need to drop everything and migrate my DNS as well because my private email that I use for docs will stop working in 6 days. And to figure out how to pay the transfer fees while doing all that. It's very much fucking stressful already.

edit: I've worded that badly - I'm not complaining, I'm just asking for a bit longer grace period for everyone. It's very easy to miss an email for 6 days during these times. All of these issues are obviously dwarfed by what Ukrainian people are going through right now.

I just want to point out that this is the first time I've read a Russian resident's perspective on what's happening right now.

The overall picture I get in Western media is that Russians are being dragged into this against their will by Putin. People have started calling for sanctions on certain regime members and supporters, but have so far avoided more broadly demonizing the Russian populace. I hope it stays that way.

Good luck.

My understanding is that older Russians tend to be more supportive of the war.

Not only do they more broadly believe Ukraine isn’t a legitimate country independent of Russia, they’re also more likely to perceive threats from the west and the potential for Ukraine to become a contributor to the threat very quickly. They’ve witnessed conflicts materializing very quickly in the past, and they’re aware it could happen again. Ukraine has dramatically improved their military training, equipment, and size since Crimea. Given that alone it’s clear to see how many Russians might see Ukraine as a threat with their non-NATO status and demilitarization not being guaranteed.

Having said that, it seems Putin has been trying to encourage acceptance of war in Russia for months because evidently there isn’t a broad enough acceptance as it is. At least from the government’s perspective, as they’ve been planning this war for quite a while. I believe the necessity of the war from their perspective came sooner than expected, otherwise they likely would have been seeding the idea of the need for war much earlier. I’m not sure.

So there are certainly a lot of Russian people who believe the war is justified. I’m not sure what the ratios of for/neutral/against are, but I suspect they’re not especially lopsided. Unfortunately. It doesn’t seem there’s significant reason to believe Putin will back down, or that Russian people will force him to.

The whole country premise is based on war. Unfortunately the world only became global in the past 2 decades which means a lot of Russians (despite being kind) still haven't gotten up to speed on all available information including the propaganda they have been subjected.

I was born in Russia and emigrated in 1999. Till then, I only heard about the glory days of USSR and how we liberated the world of evil.

I moved to Czech Republic and went straight to school. Little did I know that Russia has a bad rep by being an occupant as well as textbooks describing completely different picture of the world. Including the facts of red army raping everything in their way to Berlin's parliament building.

If you would have grown up subject to propaganda for more than 30 years, you would probably turn out in a similar way.

Asking a person to think independently without expanding their peripheral brain thinking is super hard and almost impossible IMO. Curious if there are any scientific studies how to do it.

I am not defending people for "not-knowing" just trying to paint the picture of how it was living and growing up there compared to the rest of the world. All my friends who left Russia are against the war. Unfortunately the divide is also growing in Russia and I had to forgo several people I knew from childhood because they are adamant on war being justified and I am sure I am not the only one.

Years of brainwashing... also partially the reason why people haven't revolted already.

Thanks for that, it’s really helpful to get more insight from people closer to Russia, the people there, and countries close to it. Although I can find a lot of information online, I find it difficult to find the experiences and opinions of people who aren’t from North America. Language is likely a large part of that - I’m sure many of the people close to this simply aren’t hanging out and communicating in English in the places I am.

Brainwashing is certainly a term that comes to mind as I learn more about this, but one I have a hard time using since it can seem sort of like a slur from here in Canada. The truth is though that it seems us here in North America are somewhat brainwashed to fear and resent many parts of the world as well, including Russia. It’s scary. As I’ve tried to make sense of this by asking questions or generally discussing the current conflict online, I’ve been attacked for being pro-Putin or a Russian troll several times. I’m nothing of the sort, I never take a side, and I do my best to be objective, but many of the people I live with here are furious if you aren’t laser-focused on condemning the war and Russia. I’m absolutely opposed to the war, but banging that drum eternally doesn’t help me understand it any better.

Regardless, you’re making a great point. Questioning the war would be difficult for any human being if they were raised in a culture in which it was justifiable. How many Americans supported the Iraq war which ended as an abject failure with very little support? All that changed was that people were forced to face reality. The war didn’t make any more or less sense from the day it started. It’s easy to criticize Russia from across the world, but they’re no different from us here in Canada or the USA in that sense. As you mentioned, it’s remarkably difficult to break out of the sort of cultural mould we’re born and raised in.

Thanks for the response. I hope the friends and family you left in Russia are safe, whether they support the war or not.

English is not very widespread in Russia and ex-USSR countries to the south. Even the IT crowd among me knows very little of the language (enough to read an answer on StackOverflow or write a badly worded commit message).

And now I know why it's not being taught more widely, despite the obvious economic advantages this could provide. You don't want the population to be able to speak to their 'enemies' or read news from the other side easily. It's pretty obvious now the mad lunatic has been preparing the country for what's happening for about a decade, and he truly believed when he talked about the 'encirclement' and 'sending nukes to Florida'.

I think you are right regarding limiting English teaching to prevent the population from consuming "enemy" media. Definitely also happening in China where they massively cracked down on English language tutoring two years ago. Probably due to the governments ongoing effort to ramp up nationalism and spread increasingly improbable narratives about current events and history.

"Definitely also happening in China where they massively cracked down on English language tutoring two years ago" - oh you really do not know How much the next two generations of China kids will be able to read in other languages!

Genuinely interested on what knowledge I don’t have, this prediction is based on?

If it's any consolation, there's a noticeable difference in the framing of this war from the US side. The West is slowly waking up to the fact that Putin has been waging a war for years without declaring it. It is being framed in the US media as Putin's War instead of the Russian Peoples' War. I think many recognize that ordinary Russian people are about to suffer greatly as collateral damage in his conquest for glory. Be well & stay safe.

Trully Orwellian NEWSPEAK!

May be because langage is deeply tied to culture and sovereignety. foreigns langage are cultural weapons, just look how european countries are slowly but surely turning into a chimeric federation mimicing USA just by cultural war.

For exemple a simple brainwashing illustration in the west is the fact that Imperalism is synonym to weapons/war/bombs and all things related to military. While indeed the biggest treat and real imperalism is culural and linguistic.

Hollywood and affiliates are bigger treat than any US Battaillon into subverting and destroying nation.

And it's even more dangerous because im an active actor of my own subvertion, of my own languistic and cultural destruction like im forced to use English (not my native language to expose my opinion here)

Culture is a threat? How many people have been killed by opera, symphonies and art galleries, compared to tanks, bombs, rifles?

If the people like a certain forms of culture more than others, well, then that's there preference and their freedom to choose. It doesn't harm anybody, and if you have something better to offer, go and tell people. Let them decide if they like it or not. That's not going to happen with tanks and bombs.

Has anybody ever died from speaking or listening to English? As ugly a language as it is, I prefer that 1,000,000 over having a grenade explode in my front porch.

>Hollywood and affiliates are bigger treat than any US Battaillon into subverting and destroying nation.

For dictators.

Thanks for the kind words!

Precisely. Imagine your area of knowledge is like a circle, you think you kind of get 80% of it in terms of worldview and subjective opinions. Now some random people come in and saying you are wrong and there is this other big circle which is in order of magnitude 100x bigger which shrinks your knowledge and understanding. Its very difficult to recognise that we might not be understanding all the things. But just being open for trying to get the other side helps tremendously. Even understanding the root cause of why perhaps people even think that way?

It's kind of scary... and we tend to block the scary things. Because well... its easier.

The issue in the conflict such as this is that it's never black and white. And if someone is telling you that you are pro-putin by just not condemning Russia without hearing your reasons or just blatantly attacking you - thats very short-sighted and personally I just end the debate right there, because its not up to my standards of rationality.

There are obviously now messages coming through condemning US and EU for their actions in various conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Kosovo etc. And again, what is right and what is wrong? Never that easy to say - all depends on your personal context.

I wish we could have a conversation something like that: - Ok lets look at the claims: - Claim X - Claim Y - Claim Z

Alright, claim Y is not that simple, because remember what happened was A, B, C.

Ok valid point, but B is also not so certain because of G.

I feel like our world really needs more education on critical-thinking and meta-learning.

> There are obviously now messages coming through condemning US and EU for their actions in various conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Kosovo etc.

However strongly I am angered and scared by the current attack on Ukraine, I am also deeply shaken by questioning my own views. If one nation can be brainwashed into thinking that they are saving Ukraine from fascists, and they do not know they are brainwashed and think the other side is brainwashed... what am I brainwashed into? I already know I was also deceived big time (I totally believed that lie about WMDs in Iraq), what else is there? And I know that it can be argued that "western media" is more open and pluralistic, but don't Russians think the same about their media?

After seeing Brexit, Donald Trump, Covid, now Ukraine... we humans really need to figure out how to improve our ability to converge on models of reality closer to what really happens.

Anyway, thank you for shedding some light on the views from someone closer to Russia.

Western media has almost the same amount of propaganda unfortunately. And in Russian media is a small amount of truth...

Western media has nowhere near the same amount of propaganda. It is diverse and not controlled by the state. The west has many problems, and protecting democracy is a full time job.

With Ukraine, hundreds of countries are all seeing the same thing, independent journalists are watching.

There is no justification for escalating to a war which is what Putin has done. If he had sent troops into the regions already contested you could maybe argue that (even then it would be tenuous).

Western media people fall into groupthink though. On the eve of the 2016 elections the liberal media were all certain that Hillary was going to take it, because all the liberal journalists only had liberal friends and they all hated Trump, so in their echo chamber, Trump was toast. On the reverse, in November 2012 Romney's loss came to a shock to his inner circle, because they were listening to their own echo chamber. Although to be honest, I don't remember now what Fox News was predicting in 2016.

We all have our biases, I wonder if journalists are so diligent to be thorough and re-evaluate things they assume to be X to make sure it's really X, but I doubt it.

I remember. I was in the US, in Mountain View, on election night for work. I went to get dinner as the election was being counted. Between that and the next day, there was just shock.

> It is diverse and not controlled by the state.

Western media isn’t controlled by the state but frequently acts in service to it. See Manufacturing Consent, by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky.

I haven't read that book and will add it to my reading list.

I'm not naive (but far from an expert). There are all kinds of problems with western democracy, capitalism and the media (in no particular order).

There is a vast difference between the 'western media problems' and the propaganda coming out of Russia though.

The narratives around refugees in Australia are a very good example at least one of the problems with western media. Referring to refugees as 'Illegal' has led to them being locked up off-shore for extended periods of time (6+ years in some cases).

> we humans really need to figure out how to improve our ability to converge on models of reality closer to what really happens.

It's a good idea, but people with power and money have an agenda, and their agenda is often not in sync with current reality. They want their agenda to be future reality, and suppress current reality to get there. Just my opinion.

> The whole country premise is based on war.

Oh please. I'm all on board with criticizing the war, criticizing the human rights abuses, criticizing the megalomaniac Putin.

But once you go into this kind of criticism, you start the same propaganda you are criticizing Putin of. Make a difference between a corrupt regime and the country, the people. If you really want to make the point of the "whole country" being based on war, you need to be fair and do that to every country. The U.S.? Based on genocide of the natives, slavery and oppression of Africans and now playing world police bullying everybody who does not want to play along. China? Thousands of years of history of basing their power on war or the threat of it. British Empire? India?

Please, let's just not go there.

> Russians are being dragged into this against their will by Putin.

Unfortunately, this is profoundly incorrect. I know a lot of young(-ish) educated Russians, and at least 50% (by my estimate) kind of agree with Putin that "they were left no other choice".

> I know a lot of young(-ish) educated Russians, and at least 50% (by my estimate) kind of agree with Putin that "they were left no other choice"

I grew up in South America. If you knew the kind of crap we are fed by our own very teachers that vilify american citizens as invading thieves without any care to make a distinction about the people and the government. I clearly remember during a certain heavy metal concert the keyboard player innocently tried to make a solo of the country national hymn followed by the american hymn and he was attacked by an angry mob of retards throwing things while literally chanting "Bin Laden". And yeah I was young and I thought "the yankee bastard had it coming".

I was in my 30s when I started realizing its all bullshit and the american people don't really have a say about the atrocities their government is causing in foreign lands. We've been fed with propaganda and programmed to hate people we don't know.

There is one thing I do not understand and I was hoping you (or any other person who knows a lot of Russians) can explain: I hear that Russia and Ukraine have many personal connections from the past. I happen to be from the Czech Republic and I imagined that it is probably similar to our relation to Slovakia - we used to be one state, many people having friends or relatives in the other country, mutually intelligible languages, mixed marriages... I always assumed that personal ties are stronger than propaganda (if I know that my Slovak brother in law and all of his friends are not fascists, I would hardly believe the propaganda claiming that they are). My view was obviously incorrect, but how? Did I overestimate the connectedness between Russia and Ukraine? Or underestimate the influence of propaganda? Or something else?

Many Russians I know believe that Ukrainian forces have been attacking Russians living in Donetsk and Lugansk regions for the last 8 years.

And it's not completely a lie...

Haven't they killed thousands

8 millions to be precise

This is what propaganda will make. If you keep your population only speaking a language that the rest of the world does not use, it makes propaganda so much easier.

With enough determination (and it doesn't take that that much) you can make propaganda work just fine in any language. And that's they key part, it doesn't need to be perfect, just good enough. Look at Fox News or Alex Jones.

And even if you make the effort to evaluate both sides objectively, having too much information in any language doesn't work that great either. Most people aren't equipped to properly select their information sources, to parse everything and discriminate fact from feeling, propaganda from truthful reporting. To highlight how difficult it is, this happens at scale even in the most civilized of countries, with solid education systems, and freedom of speech and press.

Most people tend to choose sides which become core to their beliefs, and are reluctant to reconsider ever again. Once they picked a side it's "just" a matter of selecting the information that supports it. This is why the same person can read the same information and decide whether it's good or bad based on who did it rather than what was done? Some people read "country X bombed school in country Y" and purely depending on their "allegiance" will decide whether the school was full of terrorists or the bomb was launched by terrorists.

Whatever you do to change that will earn you the label of "other side's troll" (sometimes, ironically, from both sides) and you quickly learn that freedom of speech only works when you exercise it in your own bubble, thus reinforcing that bubble.


I hope it is not an argument againt freedom of speach?

I wonder what are your conclusion on how to tackle the problem? Because I ask myself this question regularly when I observe both sides arguing on the topic of free speach. But it’s very hard for me to be against free speach.

Education (and future to be invented tools) isn’t any magical stick, but the best I can think of for the long term.

possibly tools like: having feed filtering algorithms also implemented clients side. You’ll always be in some sort of bubble, but having more say in it (like many inventions have evolved). This of course creates new challenged, but that’s a natural thing

Yes, and the propaganda starts already before kindergarden and continues in school. And since the parents are already convinced by the propaganda, it's reinforced from there too.

Propaganda works on both sides. Don't think the West and Ukraine tell's only the truth and don't think Russia tell's only the lie and vice versa.

Sure, there's propaganda on both sides. But it'd be lying if one was to say the amount and intensity of the propaganda was equal on both sides.

True, but that's propaganda against the reality.

Unfortunately more than that... see my comment above.

The regime and supporters are also Russians. If it was just Putin, there would be no war. A lone, old, crazy man would be hardly a threat to Ukraine.

It's hard for me to send my sympathies to you - my relatives are either hiding in bomb shelters, or fighting your countrymen in the east and in the south. They are all Russian speaking people who hate Russia and everything Russia stands for with passion these days. Anyway, please accept my sympathies, and find strength in yourself to do more.

When your country is attacking another country, asking for empathy is best done by relating what YOU are going through, personally, as opposed to telling stories for others.

I suppose that's somewhat metaphoric for the philosophical differences in how authoritarian rule manifests vs. whatever it is we call it in the West.

I have empathy for everyone in Russia who is going through hardship during this time.

yes and no - I wasn't going for the empathy here.

silently losing your email address because you've missed one email in that rush sounds very very bad, esp if you're waiting for some important documents that can make or break your life/immigration/whatever.

This is surprisingly healthy view, you are probably (sorry for labeling you) not watching main stream media and get your news from more independent sources?

The entire purpose of the sanctions is to make life difficult for Russians. Do you find this unfair? Then tell me the alternative. The West have tried appeasing Putin, but clearly he is not going to stop, ever. This very moment the Russians are closing in on Kyev, ready for the slaughter. While Russians are scrambling to save their money, Ukrainians are scrambling to save the lives of their loved ones. Should the West use weapons instead of economic sanctions? This would be third world war, probably the end of Russia but more likely the end of the world.

So tell us what we should do instead of sanctions?

The express claim was that "sanctions will not be targeted at everyday Russian people, only the oligarchs"

This shit isn't even targeted at the oligarchs, only Russian people

Surely nobody promised you that sanctions would not have any ill effects on the general population? There is no way to seize Putins war chest directly, so the purpose of the sanctions is to hit him and his power structure indirectly through the entire Russian economy and society. It is an extremely crude weapon and hits Putin critics just as hard as Putin supporters, and as always the weakest suffers the most. But what is the alternative? Doing nothing or just applying mild sanctions have been tried - it just embolded Russia and let to current murder of Ukraine. Do you have a better idea?

It's heart breaking to hear about people getting their lives turned upside down on both sides because a political elite on one side decided to forcefully take everyone on a horror-themed joy ride.

I see many stories of people mobilizing to help Ukrainian refugees however they can and those are great; I hope those of you getting caught in the chaos on the russian side can also find compassion from someone, in what I imagine is just the start of these coarse collateral-damage-prone punishment-minded moves (well intentioned as they may be).

We will give you more time to move, please reach out to our support and they will take care if it.

Are you giving more time to everybody or just the people who complain?

Just the people who complain, which seems reasonable. Quoting the GP:

"If more grace time is necessary for some to move, we will provide it."

it already mentions "by march 6", i think it's enough time

I disagree, 6 days is not enough time. Especially for people who are not tech savvy.

Bad move.

Oh you are right, for some reasons i read this as "May 6".. indeed, 6 days seems rushed

Consequences for an authoritarian regime invading its neighbor aren’t suppose to be convenient.

Until very recently, rhetoric about sanctions was masked in polite fictions like "this is meant to target corrupt leaders" and "we fully support the people of the country in the struggle against their authoritarian leader," etc.

It is alarming how quickly this has shifted to open acknowledgment: "yeah, these measures are meant to punish ordinary people until they sacrifice their lives for regime change." This has always been the subtext, but I haven't seen it wielded so freely like this.

I wonder if this situation will change the framing of sanctions in other countries. Maybe we can stop pretending that sanctions aren't strictly meant to bend the population until they break.

”It is alarming how quickly this has shifted to open acknowledgment”

The mask have been taken off. All we see is the cold face of war.

Something like that said the president of Finland. And the diplomatic paths were tried for months already.

We (the west) all know that sanctions are going to hit ordinary Russians, but also people outside the Russia. Nothing to compare with horrors in Ukraine. But it looks like we have currently no other option. Are we sliding to a new world war. That is what we try to avoid. We are already sending weapons but non-acting would seem we support the war Russia has started. Putin has went so far that it is unlikely that he will stop. We hope the change comes from the inside, and that he is stopped. I know, it is a naive thought.

This is a lose-lose situation for everyone.

At the same time we are in danger of escalating energy crisis, banking crisis and the climate change.

There is a fine line between making it hurt for normal people and make the affirmation of Putins world view that they are under attack. People are already living with a lie their whole life, it doesn't help if we affirm this just when they start to see the light... Cutting of the people that is trying to get the truth to the population is very counter productive in this case.

And, People with internet domain names, tend to be younger, more against Putin already?

> Until very recently, rhetoric about sanctions was masked in polite fictions like "this is meant to target corrupt leaders"

I think this was always an excuse by economic interests trying to limit the scope of sanctions in hopes of reducing the business impact, at least that's how I've read it.

Sanctions are a flexible tool of warfare that scales from targeting leaders, to damaging the enemy's ability to replenish supplies, to total economic collapse so as to destroy the state's ability to function.

I think it's a very reasonable consequence for voting in a dictator and a mass murderer.

I never voted for Putin and pretty sure that most of the Russian Namecheap clients never did. Namecheap was a safe harbour because the domain could be seized by the Russian authorities, and now it's act of betrayal of the loyal customers who payed many years in times when they needed them most. I've already received the emails from Russian registrars promising the discount, so this money would go to Russian companies. It's like ordering a taxi drive because of some urgent needs, paying in advance, and then the car stops in Mulholland Drive way and they declare you should call another taxi company within several minutes because you are Russian and the driver is Ukrainian.

This makes perfect sense to me; if you are Russian, you should be held accountable for your leadership choices (you didn’t vote for him, but you love and support people and a system that did) and acquiescence to rule by a man who is clearly evil.

I don’t think this is even close to the level of accountability necessary for the Russian people to see the gravity of their mistake.

You deserve isolation, in my opinion, for your marginal part supporting a system of corruption and mass murder. Some very small amount of Ukranian blood is on your hands, and that means you pay this minor economic cost.

This is victim blaming on an unprecedented scale. The average russian has zero control over the actions of the dicatorship, and thus can't be held accountable. Collective punishment for the actions of few is always wrong, especially when the collective has no control over the situation. You are blaming an entire nation for the grave crime of being born in the wrong place.

I have nothing but contempt for you.

No, I am blaming an entire nation for the attempted murder of another nation.

It’s naïve as hell to think the Russian people aren’t complicit in their government’s actions; Putin is not a dictator, and he is not the only evil actor in Russian government.

Collective punishment for the actions of the collective is not wrong, but a great way of meting out justice to those who have acted morally wrong, as the Russian people have.

You may have contempt for me, but I hold disgust and malice for the Russians here acting like they’re blameless for what’s happening in Ukraine; they’re just as proportionally responsible as Putin. He’s their leader, he’s their fault.

Why do you think this regime exists?? Do you think it's the expression of the will of the Russian people? Please, I beg of you, learn a little bit about the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the brazen interference in their elections by western powers, for the purposes of violently suppressing dissent against the bandits who are in charge today.

Also, I don't know what country you're in, but there is a HIGH chance that you do NOT want to be held accountable for the crimes it committed and will continue to commit.

So it’s a) not your fault, b) there’s nothing you can do and c) I’m just as bad as you?

Sorry but no. This regime exists because the Russian people allow it to exist, full stop. If you think there’s nothing you can do, that’s just your cowardice talking. The Ukranians are proving that one hundred fold.

I'm not Russian, I just have basic empathy

Apparently not enough for the Ukranians, who actually have no say in any of this.

What's up with every Russian answer on HN being brand new accounts? None of these responders had an account and now chose to speak up?


> Please don't post insinuations about astroturfing, shilling, bots, brigading, foreign agents and the like. It degrades discussion and is usually mistaken. If you're worried about abuse, email hn@ycombinator.com and we'll look at the data.

Did they really vote him in though? If anyone was going to rig and election…

No they didn't. He stayed in power via manipulation and assassinations and things like that. Cannot blame the people. (Well, a few, but in general.) Stalin also wasn't the people's fault.

There's been some estimates of how many votes Putin would get, if there were real elections, no vote fraud, no threats, opposition politicians hadn't been killed or imprisoned, everyone got to vote, didn't get bribed to vote on Putin -- and then from what I read, a large majority would vote against him.

Putins approval rating is around 70% (measured before the Ukraine invasion). His highest approval rating was about 88% back when Crimea was annexed. So he has broad public support and the population seem to be largely in favor of the expansionist policies, at least until now.

these are official government statistics, am I right?

By all accounts, he didn’t need to, but this goes so much further than just Putin. Local elections exist, they have a bicameral legislative body that approved this invasion, they originally approved the authoritarian constitution that allowed this to happen, they continue to prop up strong men in their culture and in their government.

This is a continuous choice by the Russian people to support men like Putin and Yeltsin, and it has massive negative consequences for the rest of the world.

Of course it makes sense to make it marginally harder to register and maintain a domain on the Internet as a result. If that’s the price a small handful of Russians have to pay for all of this, they should be infinitely grateful.

As an independent observer on the last Duma (lower house of Russian parliament) elections, I can tell with certainty that these elections were rigged. Upper house of the parliament is not elected.

If Russian elections are not free and fair (which they likely aren't), and the Russian people are not revolting or leaving, they are complicit in the outcomes anyway.

How exactly you see a revolution of unarmed people against fully armed people that have no problem with hurting and killing others? Do you really think that average Russian has enough money to leave the country?

Not well! But the alternative is to let Putin kill and threaten people on your behalf, so that's not going well either. No good options here, but at least if you revolt or leave, he's not doing those things with your endorsement. "It's hard!" is not an excuse to tolerate war crimes.

And yes, I really think the average Russian has enough resources to leave the country, because you need zero resources to stand up from your chair and walk in a direction. If you're stopped, that's not your fault, you're actively trying.

So you’re saying that all Russian people should just die horrible death trying to go unarmed against National Guard (the force that exists specifically to beat up and torture protestors)...

...or just be shot trying to illegally cross the border.

You’re literally suggesting some sort of self-genocide of 150 million nation.

If you think the most effective way to overthrow the Russian government is to try to go 1 on 1 against the Russian National Guard, you're probably not going to last very long in Russia or anywhere else, for that matter.

Same if you think literally doing zero prep work to leave Russia has a high chance of success. If it's your only option, you're not thinking creatively enough.

It just seems like you're operating in a state of learned helplessness, which is immensely sad but not the only way to live.

Please, do tell me the most effective way to overthrow the Russian government. I’m a member of protest movement since my high school and I assure you that if you have some option none of us are aware of, I’ll carefully consider it.

Also please explain what “prep work” can an average Russian with monthly income about $450 can do to sucessfully leave Russia.

“Stop treating overthrowing your murderous government as your hobby.”, would probably be step one.

Until then you’re just cosplaying so you can sleep at night.

And it costs nearly nothing to legally cross a border, but yes if the options are, “Continue to live in Russia” or, “Illegally cross a border.” Then break the law.

Your suggestions completely lack any specific actions. What exactly do you think could be done by unarmed and disorganized (because Council of Europe didn’t care when Navalny was jailed despite ECHR decision) Russian people? Please, elaborate on your proposed strategy.

Residence of which country you can get without having a lot of money and/or good career like IT specialist? How do you think unarmed person can illegally cross a border guarded by armed people without getting killed?

Either my suggestions lack specific action or crossing the border of another country will get you killed. One or the other, not both.

And if you don’t know what an insurgency is or how to run one, that’s on you to figure out. It is the only moral option if you’re Russian and want to stay in Russia.

Here's an analogy, most people here are allergic to Trump. It would be the same to have blocked US people because Trump got elected.

It would be the same to have blocked US people because Bush started an invasion that would cause hundreds of thousands to die. And I think that would be valid, certainly morally if not strategically.

Completely understandable, from my perspective. US citizens have a lot to answer for, just like Russian citizens, and should be held to account for their leadership choices.

Careful with that, this justification was also used for the attack on the Twin Towers.

Yeah because dropping someone from your DNS registrar is the same thing as 9/11…

What a horrific and insensitive comment. Christ…

They won't be, though, even if we assume they should be. "Holding Russian people to account", on the other hand, is emotionally easy and relatively consequence-free.

It's increddibly shortsighted, It's cutting out people that is trying to fight with true information, leaving the propaganda unquestioned. This is why we won't cut internet to russia.

It's the standard PR appeasement of companies - complain loudly in a place others might see, and we shall see to your needs. Thousands of others who might also be suffering and don't have the means to do so or don't know that this is how it works - well, too bad.

Call on your government to end the war. Immediately. That seems much easier than working down your list, because it will grow longer with each day of this invasion.

It's not a government, it's a dictatorship, and if you protest or call it a war you can disappear in prison; I just read that Putin has a 15 years punishment in mind.

You might as well say "just assassinate Putin, it's much easier".

But agreed that figuring out something to do would be good

About two million people on the streets of Moscow should be enough for authorities to stop arresting people. Or how do you think Germany was reunited [1]? It is sickening to see people afraid of their government, the entity which exists to care for them and protect them. Economic sanctions hitting the small man might be the best chance you'll get to see that happening. The only question is how much military support the government really has, lucky for us the USSR was busy collapsing so that gave a window of opportunity.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monday_demonstrations_in_East_...

It’s nearly impossible to organize a large scale protest in Russia. All the opposition leaders were jailed or murdered and even just posting info about protests is a criminal offence. There’s also a problem with many people being indoctrinated by the state propaganda, because independent mass media is banned.

There was an ECHR decision ordering Russia to free Navalny, but it was ignored by Russian government and Council of Europe did nothing about it.

If enough people call it a war, then then there won't be room to fill all the prisons. Putin can't put millions of people in prison. He also won't kill millions of his own people. OR maybe he will, but he'll do that anyway if he launches nukes like he has warned. Your life is already under threat, you really don't have a choice or any other options but to rid yourselves of this madman.

> He also won't kill millions of his own people. OR maybe he will,

One thing he can do, is to kill a few, give it lots of press, and it'll seem to people as if they'll get killed they too if they cause problems

> It's not a government, it's a dictatorship,

Dictatorship is a form of government.

I can't even call on my government to fix a pothole and this guy has to convince his dictator to let go?

I'm pro-siege, because I see Russian activists as collateral damage to stopping the machine, but it's not their individual fault they can't overthrow an authoritarian government.

under which rock did you live the last 20 years>?

Yeah right. So atm I'm sitting in Kyiv centre, central traint station was bombed in the night. Babyn Yar, Holocause memorial was bombed yesterday - it was a try to destroy tv broadcasting tower. I'm so not fucking sorry for your shitty incovinience. I managed to get wife and kids out of country. And five more women with children to Poland. All of that under bombings. Go fuck yourself, I don't remember that ukrainians were given time.

What you all need to do is depose Putin.

Are you really honestly shocked? Has the news in Russia been completely opaque to the preparation to this invasion? It seems like everyone else has known about it for months.

My eastern relatives are all brainwashed by putin's pr. They only read news that come from their fb feed, and they all point to tacc/rt/sputnik/etc. I have already had so many arguments and now have asked them to not speak to me about it and just "inform themselves". They don't trust western media so I asked them to read Indian/Israeli/other neutral press

They posted on HN. Means they must read it. HN was surfacing news about the buildup for months. They knew.

No, they did not. Nobody did actually expect invasion in Russia. Neither civilians, nor army. Putins orders came as a total surprise, he was not expected to cross the border. At worst everybody was thinking about new escalation in Donbas. The military buildup was considered a strategic negotiation game.

Meanwhile, here in the U.S., in the weeks leading up to the invasion, our Government was holding routine press conferences showing exactly where Russian forces were gathering and the threatening posture they comprised as they encircled Ukraine from three sides. Combine that with Putin’s and his foreign minister’s unrealistic demands, and the writing was on the wall. If the Russian people didn’t get the same information, that would certainly explain their surprise.

The same information was available in Russia, just different conclusions were made. Every political analyst focusing on Russian foreign policy is throwing away now years of their publications and research, because they based them on a wrong assumption (the one that Biden administration did not have - that Putin is rational).


Personal attacks will get you banned here. No more of this, please, no matter how right you are or feel you are.

Attacking individuals personally is no way to express your feelings about this situation. Everyone with any connection to it is in a high emotional state right now. Having HN community members get aggressive with their fellow community members only makes things worse.

Nationalistic attacks aren't allowed either, and you crossed that line too. We're not practicing collective punishment here, as long as I have anything to say about this place.

I know it's hard to stay tolerant in the presence of strong feelings, but that's what commenters here are asked to do—and if anyone can't do it, they should refrain from posting until they can.


Hey I saw a post on a local FB group today from an Aussie company who worked with a Russian dev years ago and had their contact details on one of 50 domains, and they're being asked to move everything.

They said support is not responsive, any way you can be more discriminating about the level of Russian involvement that will trigger a suspension? I will post a link to your statement here for them.


>Please don't post insinuations about astroturfing, shilling, bots, brigading, foreign agents and the like.


Thanks for the info didn't realize that was frowned upon.

When you're in a crisis situation, the last thing one needs is even more pressing things to get done. Especially ambiguous ones like writing some pleasant appeal to support, and hoping for understanding. And worrying that if support falls back to the large print policy, then having even less time to effect a transfer.

If you're serving the like of RT.com then redirect that to somewhere truthful yesterday, but turning the screws on individuals feeds right into Putin's censorship goals. At least consider moving your deadline back to something more graceful like 60 or even 30 days.

It's a bit counter productive to shut down the people that is actually trying to help. Then there is only Putins views out there... That is exactly why the west did NOT shut down internet to russia, if we do that, there will be noone speaking against Putin.

> It's a bit counter productive to shut down the people that is actually trying to help

It has been said that exceptions can and will be made.

Though I suspect it might not be as easy as just asking because if it was everyone would just ask, so those needing an exception will at least need to take time to formulate an explanation, and wait for responses, etc.

Not ideal, but IMO understandable from namecheap's position.

This whole debacle is just proof that Namecheap will make hasty, marketing-based decisions based on the whim of the CEO.

It's no longer a reliable platform, or rather it never was.

You're hurting a lot of people who are using foreign services because they want to limit their exposure to Putin's regime.

The Russian state doesn't use Namecheap. Do you really think the negatives could be outweighed by some positive here?

This is NOT a "whim of the CEO" - 82% of Namecheap's employees live in Ukraine, 1700 people. And you're expecting them to support Russians? Think again.

I'm 100% supportive of Namecheap's actions in this.

I may be being overly paranoid here, but consider that being made an exception of by Namecheap might draw the wrong kind of attention from the regime.

Are you now going to ask for the voter record of each of your customers?

Or what is the appropriate anti-Putin a customer must have to be allowed to use your company's services?

Wait aren't they obligated to do this under the new sanctions anyway? Same goes with any company that wants to continue doing business with US and EU, am I wrong?

I mean, honestly, if there wasn't moderation here I would be bluntly insulting you. I will definitely boycott you from now on. Both as a person and as a company.


Because when cornered and angry people lash out, it’s part of the human condition.

Also it does score points.

I wonder how many of their Ukrainian customers have .ru domains …

Thank you for coming out like this and doing what you are doing, at the same time: this also isn't your fight, you are like those people hiding in the Ukraine subways hoping they'll be alive tomorrow morning: collateral damage on a stage set by a madman. I suspect that there are a lot of people right now wondering if continuing with Putin is worth it so please don't stop, you may be close to some kind of resolution.

We have over 1000 people on the ground there, mostly in Kharkiv. We have been working 24/7 to try to get them to safety. While I haven't experienced anywhere near the suffering they have. I haven't slept almost anything for days trying to help in every way possible to get them to safety. Don't make assumptions.

I think you answered in the wrong thread (which is very easy to do on HN).

I applaud your action, but I think you should give private individuals with registered domains the benefit of the doubt for now and concentrate on companies, also I think that the tax angle is weak. The dissonance to have your employees' lives at risk from the very same Russians that are looking to get some customer support is the main factor I think.

Thank you for what you're doing. I was in the process of gradually moving my domains off of Namecheap as they neared expiration over the past few years.

I think they might come back to Namecheap as a result of this.

The regime in Russia is much more likely to topple if Russia is quickly isolated. It is painful to individuals there, but it's also the right thing to do.

Isolation has never helped but always made things worse. The way you state that making life painful for people is the right thing to do - is exactly Putin’s way of thinking.

It's the right thing to do if it contributes to either regime change, or to a deterioration of the nation's economy leading to a reduced ability to wage conventional war.

That sounds exactly like Putin's plan - change the EU regimes so they play nice with Russia and reduce the ability of Ukrainians to wage conventional war, it's btw the official version - demilitarisation of the Ukraine.

This is the real problem in the current situation - everybody is trying outplay each other by using different kind of force (military, economical) and nobody wants to sit down, listen to each other's concerns and try to develop some acceptable peaceful solution together.

This is a reactive plan, not an aggressive plan as Putin's apparently is. It is not the same.

After the events of the last few days, it would seem you are quite mistaken if you think the west as a whole is interested in "developing a peaceful solution together" with Russia. We are first and foremost extricating our economy entirely from Russia at least in the short to medium term. I think you fail to grasp that this is now being seen as an idealogical conflict, not a conventional rivalry between fundamentally like-minded foes. At least as long as the current Russian regime is in power.

We heard Putin's nonsense concerns - he accused Ukraine leadership of being literal Nazis. The President of Ukraine is Jewish and his family survived the holocaust. Putin has lied every step of the way. And you want us to sit down so he can tell more lies?

Isolation hasn't helped in the case of North Korea, so I would not be surprised if it doesn't help in the case of Russia.

The threat that North Korea poses to the rest of the world has also been minimized partly as a result of its isolation (whether self-imposed or otherwise). To the extent that the Russian economy deteriorates through isolation, its reduced ability to wage conventional war is a benefit in and of itself.

Agreed, but North Korea's isolation hasn't helped topple the regime nor improve the lives of the people living there.

While probably true, the current goal is to help the people of Ukraine. Helping the Russian people may be a good goal once this job’s complete (although I’m not sure what the current overall Russian sentiment is toward the situation).

Each situation is different.

I wouldn't support 75 years of isolation in Russia, but a country in free fall might lead to regime change in the not-too-distant-future. I want Putin out. I can see scenarios by which he's out in weeks, months, or a few years.

Even more, I want Lukashenko out before Belarus is a nuclear power. Right now, we could affect regime change without nuclear consequences. That option leaves the table soon.

The dictator of North Korea is protected as a useful tool for China. Is Russia willing to submit to Chinese control if they have no other options?

Or with Cuba. In fact, has it ever helped?

Yeah it did help. They have a crippled economy.

That only made it harder for the people there to topple the regime or have better lives.

>"The regime in Russia is much more likely to topple if Russia is quickly isolated. It is painful to individuals there, but it's also the right thing to do."

I think it is absolutely the other way around. If you isolate regular Russians from the information and will not let them communicate with the rest of the world Putin will be the first to send you thank you card.

Look at all the international crying when China puts firewalls. Meanwhile you are advocating basically the same thing.

There’s no reasonable comparison. Namecheap isn’t blocking anything, they’re simply avoiding doing business in Russia or with Russians, and are willing to make exceptions.

They're free to do whatever the fuck they want. I just told what I think about it. We do not have to convince each other

I must have a very confused model of what it takes to run a domain registry. I don't know what those 1000+ people were doing before Putin came knocking, but I'm glad you're looking out for them.

see: https://www.namecheap.com/careers/ukraine/

(copy/paste from the page):

> Find easy inspiration on your way to the Ukraine offices each day, whether it’s the ornate architecture in Lviv, the vibrant student community in Kharkiv, or the many waterfront parks in Dnipro. Here you’ll join the central hub for our Product, Technology, and Customer Support teams, where we work closely with our longtime strategic partner, Zone3000.

It doesn't take 1000+ people to run a domain registry: it takes 1000+ people to run an easy to use, secure domain registry service.

Customer service most likely.

Thank you for doing this. My country borders Ukraine, and it's very encouraging news that someone in a position like yours is taking steps like that.

Off topic to this thread but we also have people in Kharkov. Anything you find in terms of what we can do practically that you can forward would be appreciated.


Because ultimately this is not about money but about decency.

Thank you for what you and your team are doing. OVD Info is very important project for Russian civil society and we shall not let you down.

>And, you know, those people you want to point at their own government, they won't get it.

There are thousands of people 'getting it' being arrested on the streets of Moscow.

Every detained person will not be able to keep their domain, while the ones not busy with activism have the time to transfer them.

They are getting it not because some domain registrar decided to do whatever he wants.

If you are fighting against the regime then this is only helping.

If enough people get inconvenienced that would normally not think twice, maybe there is a chance it will turn their heads to think for a second about what is happening around them.

> I'm not complaining. While I did try to fight against the regime since its beginning, I could've done more. We screwed this up, and we're responsible, and all the inconveniences we might have cannot be compared to the suffering of people of Ukraine. Just saying.

I'm so sorry you have to live under these conditions. You don't need to compare yourself to the suffering of the Ukrainian people. You're also in pain.

Have you thought about leaving? Can you and your family and friends easily emigrate?

I hope the best for you too.

"Have you thought about leaving? Can you and your family and friends easily emigrate?"

When you have real family and friend connection - you can never "easily emigrate". There is always a relative to a relative and a close friend with relatives, which adds up quickly and the bigger the group, the harder to move or find asylum at all. And which state would be willing to welcome russians, when there is so much talk again about collective punishment?

And how to get your assets out, when both the russian state as well as the western states are trying to block exactly this?

I doubt there is an "easy way" for ordinary people to get out.

Anti-Putin Russians leaving the country only plays into Putin's hands. It would be like a Stalinist purge without the bloodshed.

A giant brain drain of scientists, engineers, doctors, civil servants... would surely weaken Russia in the long term – even if Putin might celebrate it as a help to consolidating his power.

And even if it didn't result in a backlash that removes Putin from power, chipping away at Russia's economic, technology, and military/industrial strength still greatly reduces his ability to wage more wars of aggression in the future.

There were surveys years ago reporting that more than half of Russia's youth would like to emigrate. I doubt it is easy.

ETA: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-politics-emigratio...

Most of the EU countries has stopped issuing visas. We’re really stuck between two equally hostile political forces pursuing their interests.

>We’re really stuck between two equally hostile political forces pursuing their interests at any cost.

I know. It's awful. If we can't get Russia to stop attacking Ukraine with bombs, tanks, guns and missiles, perhaps we could convince the EU to stop bombing Ukraine? Oh, wait...

Or we can prevent ordinary Russians from leaving the country ruining their economy at the same time, pushing them into the civil war …

One of these things is not like the others.

Invading a country != denying visas to citizens of a country that's doing the invading.

Stay where you are and you may be murdered by an invading force != stay where you are and deal with the results of sanctions.

Both are definitely bad, but they are in no way equivalent.

As I have said in the comment below - for the ordinary Russian people which have nothing to do with the invasion the consequences are equally bad from the both sides.

such a claim is tantamount to saying ordinary Russian people are sociopaths who only value things in terms of how it affects them

I do not think that is the case

they're people, just like everyone else, and your ordinary person can obviously tell which of the two aforementioned scenarios is way, way, way worse than the other

No. Not "equally" hostile AT ALL

Here you can see how effective propaganda is. Even when the facts are there for all to see it still work to a degree that people will take those memes and spit them back out as their own.

"Equally hostile"? Seriously?

I can understand. You are comparing the situations in the both countries from the outside and situation in the Ukraine is much worse. But from the inside I have to face severe consequences from the both sides for what I haven't done, don't support and essentially have nothing to do with.

OK, I see what you mean.

What is severe about switching registrars for you?

I know the other sanctions are extremely painful for the Russian people, but I think of it like this: you are the victim of an economic war, and it is the alternative to a physical war, where you would be bombed to death.

I would say that both sides of the pain you're feeling (from NATO and from Russia) are both Putin's fault.

For my personal perspective, I do have empathy for you (genuinely), but I still wholeheartedly support the forced deterioration of your economy if it either contributes to regime change or reduces your country's ability to wage conventional war (and I believe at least one of those outcomes is a plausible consequence).

Deterioration of the economy usually leads to more war even more quickly. You can take Germany after the WWI as an example. Positive regime changes are only possible in the stable economical situation. Take me as an example - at the moment I do programming for a living. Let’s imagine I’m cut off of all the tools, customers and equipment. What would I do? I’ll probably have to work for the regime which will become the only source of the income, will get much smaller wage, work longer hours and have much less resources and influence to change the situation. We went through all this during the Soviet Union times. Such regimes benefit a lot from the isolation which allows them to turn people into slaves essentially. The idea that you can improve anything by harming people never works. Putin’s propaganda is using the same argument- they claim that they fight in the Ukraine to improve the situation in the region. I doubt you believe that.

Deterioration of the economy in times of peace favors war, but deterioration when war is already committed to is a valid tool to the aim of ending the war by destroying the ability to project force. This is not the same aim as sanctions in peacetime.

If Russia were to be forced into an isolationist command economy as you describe I would surmise that, much like the Soviet Union, its influence and relative threat to the rest of the world would deteriorate over time, maybe leading to a similar internal collapse. For your and the world's sake I don't want that outcome, but I'd nonetheless take it over its current status as a relatively more robust economy helmed by an aggressive and violent expansionist.

Well if you want to get rid of the robust violent regimes that engage in war outside of their borders than you should start with the US. They have been involved in much more conflicts and killed much more civilian people all over the world than Russia.

So how do you recommend that the rest of the world support Ukraine's effort to not be swallowed up and pillaged by a neighboring country?

Direct military intervention is the only way to save Ukraine at this moment. Massive deployment of NATO troops near Lviv, no-fly zone etc. Given the inflow of refugees, EU can rightfully claim that the war is causing economic damage to it and intervene on humanitarian grounds. We are looking into Syrian scenario unfortunately.

Thank you and all the OVD Info for your work.

Thank you for everything you're doing.

I'm not even from Russia and I'll be busy transferring my domains as well because I don't want to find out in coming days that my government farted the wrong way and I have to bare the consequences (It's one of those countries that keep abstaining from anti Russian votes so who knows if it might be clubbed with Russia in the moral court of Namecheap).

> People that are getting angry need to point that at the cause, their own government.

Believe me, I'm very angry at my government. Unlike you, I've been protesting the regime for several years, putting my health and well-being at risk. I've donated thousands of dollars to anti-regime organizations. And I'm currently in the process of fleeing the country because of this.

So I'm also very angry at you, for screwing me over when I'm in a really fucking vulnerable position, as well as hundreds other developers who depended on your company.

Exactly! The tech community is the epicenter of change in Russia, same as in most places.

My situation is different, but equally anecdotal. I left Russia years ago, as soon as I could. My company isn't in Russia. I don't pay taxes in Russia. I am not even Russian by ethnicity, but I have relatives in Russia and I am still holding a Russian passport. Does that make me a bad person? Even if I were Russian, is it against the ICANN rules to belong to certain ethnicities or nationalities?

As a final note, people who live in CIS all have friends in both countries. For them the war is real and not on a TV screen. Imagine how many hours will those people waste changing those damn configs instead of helping people in need in both Ukraine and Russia...

Sorry, but you should be happy the whole world and companies are joining your fight. Putin has to be stopped now, that includes some uncool stuff like this and blocking SWIFT.

Easy to say when you are not the target.

Making me use 50% less electricity is one thing. Having to move all my domains would be quite another.

At least you are not a target for a missile. For a lot of people right now it's the best what they can hope for.

Ah yes, the "someone else has it worse therefore your concerns are irrelevant" argument.

This decision will not prevent a single missile from being fired. On the contrary, it will put more power into Russian entities.

I don't understand, you're saying that the fact a missle is aimed at someone in the Ukraine gives namecheap a license to shit on their paying customers?

They're saying that the fact that Russia is invading Ukraine gives namecheap a legitimate reason to decline to provide services in Russia.

you didn't get the problem. Namecheap made two unethical things, one annoying and small and the other that cost lives.

1) The fact that they ask to move Russians to other registrators, is just barely an inconvenience. It cost me 30 seconds to create a ticket in scrum and developers will move everything. But misjudgment by nationality is bad. Imagine if all Jewish customers will get such letters because Isreal/Palestinian war?

2) Catastrophic is this: instead of using millions of dollars from Russian customers to help to save Ukraine and lives - they steer away from this money to governmental control Russian registrators. In other words, their CEO Richard just send this million dollars to Putin instead of Ukraine. That will cost lives.

In your mind, they are just aimed? And btw companies are free to do or not do business with someone based on their internal reasons. If they find that their business should not conduct business with a customer, it's totally up to them. Until they are following the agreement and contact is withdrawn according to all legal requirements. It's just a regular business practice. Benefits probably were suppressed by the cost.

I'm there with you, but the opposition is disproportionately reliant on VPNs and foreign cloud hosting. It is required to have any shot at tipping the scales at all. The Twitter and Facebook are blocked already at this point.

Blocking SWIFT was for the little people to suffer, same as what Namecheap is now doing. Russian gas company still uses SWIFT and they are not banned it's all theater by the Germans. Germany and France could have prevented this catastrophe but they choose not to.


Or that could be the best way to start WW3. Your call!


If you continue to make this flamewar worse, we will ban you. Please stop now.


(Edit: the parent comment originally read "I don't mind." It has since been abusively edited, and I've banned the account.)

You fight with the weapons you have. If you have a rock to defend your family with, you fight with the rock. The guy you kill with the rock is, realistically, probably as innocent as the commoners back in Russia.

If you have the ability to hit the Russian government where it hurts - in their money - not using it to defend your employees is as unconscionable as not picking up that rock to defend your family.

War has never differentiated between innocent and guilty in the past, nor can it differentiate today. It's a battle between governments, and people who are really hurt will always be the innocent.

Fuck war. But don't blame someone for defending themselves, their family, their employees, with the weapons they have, not the weapons you wish they had.

You are right, but deliberately hitting crowd of commoners with a huge rock trying to hit a coward warrior? Don't pretend the West has no more precise option

Economic damage is probably one of the most precise weapons we have that will damage a government yet which doesn't kill people (directly, I know quite well the impact of losing your income on your life in winter).

Could the US (UK, France, Germany, etc) hit Putin directly with a drone or missile strike? Quite possibly (though chances are pretty high that would look a lot like your "coward in a crowd" scenario).

But - pertinent to this conversation - can Namecheap's CEO hit Putin directly with a conventional weapon strike? No. He doesn't have bombs, drones, missiles, or guns. He has domain name registries and web hosting, and the ability to offer and not offer those services to others.

Now Russian citizens will be forced to spend their money inside the Russian economy, how will Putin recover from this?

What economy? An unprecedented experiment has begun and should Putin persist many Russians will likely be paying for things with either gas, grass or ass in the coming weeks.

Oh come on, we can actually see what’s happening to the Russian economy including the capital flight.

They could have done a 0 day warning. The rock they picked may not have been the absolute perfect rock, but they are making decisions quickly as imperfect people with limited knowledge and trying to make a just but humane action in support of what’s right. So I don’t fault them. Although I also would be quite upset at them if it put me in the situation of many of the commenters, especially if I had made sacrifices to fight against Putin.

War is cruel.

> Don't pretend the West has no more precise option

You are welcome to name what it is.

In this case you’re not hitting an enemy, though, you are hitting someone who’s actually on your side.

There is just no way to sanction someone like Putin directly, though. If Putin wants to transfer money or buy foreign currency, an FSB agent in Austria will contact some FSB near lawyer on Malta to set up a fake company in Liechtenstein to arrange a fake sale of goods from Romania - or whatever it takes. Unfortunately, the only way to have any effect is to affect the economy as a whole.

As we speak, the whole Ukrainian economy and infrastructure is destroyed, cities are bombed, hundreds of thousands are fleeing, and people are dying in Ukraine. While you're complaining that you have to transfer your Namecheap domain names. You need to get a sense of perspective.

There is: stop buying gas and oil from Russia. This is where the money you’re talking about come from. The bombs that are destroying Ukraine are bought with Western money.

But oh no, we can’t do it, we can’t have prices go up when inflation is already high. So we will make life harder for Russian people who oppose the war as a feel good measure instead.

But that's also happening. Nord Stream 2 is essentially gone, the company is being wound down, and the whole of Europe is switching away from Russian gas and oil as fast as they can. You cannot do that from today until tomorrow, but it's happening fast. The reliance on Russian gas and oil imports will be neglectable by 2030. Btw, you're asking the EU to bear all the disadvantages (no gas, no heating in winter) so you can maintain your economy? Doesn't that sound a bit selfish to you? Shouldn't you ask Putin to stop this senseless war instead?

As I've said, you need to get a sense of perspective. This is the most civil way to weaken the Russian military long-term. It will work. Sorry that it also makes your companies weak. If it wouldn't, Putin would just grab the money from your companies, as the Russian government has already threatened. (Weird move, but I guess they believe they can spin this into anti-Western sentiment.)

And what would the alternative be? Putin has not only started a war against an independent nation, he has also just - indirectly, but pretty much overtly - threatened the whole world with thermonuclear war. That would also turn Russia into radioactive ashes. You think world community should just stand there and watch, do nothing?

How much say does Namecheap's CEO have over the worlds use of Russian gas and oil? Probably as much say as I have over here in the US: None.

As with a sibling commenter, you're asking the CEO to fight with the weapons you wish he had, not the weapons he has. The CEO, the company he runs, are not "the west".

That someone who's on your side is inherently supplying money in the form of taxes to their Gov who is committing war crimes. We don't want sanctions to continue indefinitely, just until they get their troops out of Ukraine.

> If you have the ability to hit the Russian government where it hurts

Attacking my domains doesn't hurt the Russian government in any way. More than that, it has been the government's strategy to slowly close global internet to have more control.

I wasn't collecting a lot of info on this. But I can give you one small example.


I occasionally come across websites that I cannot access.

Don't take it as a complaint. I just want to show you that the rock has been thrown not at the actual aggressor.

Your anger is understandable, but think of it this way: you are both fighting the same fight. Their action may well shorten the length of the remaining time for Putin, gives a very small comfort to their employees and if enough companies do this then it will hopefully make some real change for the better. Russia may be able to exist in isolation from the world, but not for long.

From the inside, it doesn't quite look that way. The state has been doing a lot to become less reliant on imports in the last decade.

If you also consider examples of North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and many other dictatorships, you'll see that isolation doesn't really correlate with regime change.

Yes, understood. I get where you are coming from, but at the same time I totally understand that for a company with such a large footprint in Ukraine it is absolutely unacceptable to continue to do business with what is now properly termed 'the enemy'. The price for access to the global market is that you behave like a team player and that you don't willy nilly invade other countries.

Even if isolation does not necessarily correlate with regime change that is still something that in the end gets decided within the country, not outside of it. After all, regime change is exactly what Putin was after in Ukraine so that would seem to be fair turnabout.

This war has created such pain and damage in only a few days its unimaginable. See my previous comments for my position on russians, but at the same time, out of solidarity i think they should move out of namecheap. Its too sensitive for the company to debate it and process it. People that last week were working at tech giants, people like you and i, were here commenting and debating and now they need to hold guns in their hands and fight in a war started by russia while their families are displaced.

So out of solidarity, russian users could move their domain names out and leave it as is.

> This war has created such pain and damage in only a few days its unimaginable.

Not to spoil your evening but it is so far perfectly imaginable, though it very well could become unimaginable soon.

I am well aware. Tbh i am trying to figure in my mind what the first target will be. Hope its just and overreaction on my part.

Edit: grammar

At a guess a minor city in the North East of Ukraine, or one in Europe away from fall-out ending up over Russia. The latter would not be worth thinking about any further, you can kiss the world goodbye in that case.

The 'lets start with a small nuke' aka tit-for-tat scenario has been wargamed literally to death: it ends with total annihilation.

I don't think Putin is that brave. But he's also perfectly capable of killing millions of Ukranians with conventional weapons.

That will have the exact same effect. Why do you think Kyiv is still standing relatively unopposed? It's not as if Russia lacks bombers. But Putin knows very well that if they are moving for a Grozny scenario that the West will have to react, initially probably by wiping out the invaders in the hope that that will put an end to this but it may well escalate from there.

All of those countries have support from larger countries that aren't party to the sanctions/embargoes they face. Russia is the entirety or a substantial part of that support. Who does Russia turn to that wouldn't worry about being similarly isolated?

True however isolation does help limit the damage they can cause through influence and soft power

The problem with sanctions is that they A) fail to cause regime change and B) cause deaths. In Venezuela, sanctions caused 40,000 deaths in 2 years.

Now, domain names going away won't cause deaths, but then again they won't cause regime change.

Russia has been propping up Venezuela. Maybe there will be quite a few regime changes this year?

On the contrary, their action plays right into Russian government propaganda.

That's beside the point. With the presence they have in Ukraine they are forcing their employees to trade with what is at the moment their mortal enemy. That's impossible.

Personally I think the tax bit is thin, but I totally understand the pressure on their employees and that that does not feel right. They are waiting for the next missile impact while at the same time they are working to keep the websites of their enemy up and running, that's not something you should want or expect.

Their mortal enemy is Russia - the state and the government - not every individual Russian.

But in the absence of any ability to hurt said mortal enemy, they seem to have picked a target by association that is within their reach, so as to hurt something related to the enemy.

I understand why this is happening, but I don't see it as justifiable.

I agree, which is why I argued upthread that they exempt private individuals and focus on domains that are operated by companies.

Until those Russians do something they are supporting the status quo

What do you expect them to do?

Do you realize how many people would suffer and even die because of that?

How many Russian people are gonna die because of losing the ability to have their domain registered with Namecheap?

And yes, people will suffer, that's what happens when one country invades their neighbor in an unprovoked attack. You're placing blame in the wrong place here.

You are right - people do suffer already. That does not mean that you should purposely act to harm people even more just because “that’s what happens”. Your actions are your own responsibility.

It's not just because "that's what happens", it's a deliberate act to discourage the Russian state from continuing in their current course of action, and it significantly less destructive (to an absurd degree) / will cause significantly less suffering than what Russia is doing in Ukraine as we speak.

More or less than during the war in Ukraine?

In the country where the problem originates or in some other country?


No, clearly not, you were the one that brought that up.

> Do you realize how many people would suffer and even die because of that?

>Unlike you, I've been protesting the regime for several years, putting my health and well-being at risk

If you've been protesting your regime for years, why don't you also understand their protest?

It seems like you are both aligned here.

His protest probably didn't cause collateral damage to innocent people.

As someone that protested frequently and usually has a "short fuse" regarding abuse of authority, I find that unlikely. Marching down a street can cause collateral damage, you slow down emergency services when you do that. Same with picketing government buildings, people providing essential services just can't show up to work that day.

A modern "government" is a controlled civil war in the same way a modern engine is controlled explosions. I day dream and have the stamina to engage in endless friendly debates about how we can improve or change this, but let's not pretend there's a clean way to engage with "the system" because there's not.

Protests almost by definition cause collateral damage.

If you are blocking off streets, you are slowing down people getting into work, slowing down emergency services...

If you are not doing any of that, you are not getting heard and there's not much "protesting" going around.

I think GP's point was that these protests, while aligned in spirit, might actually work against each other. Non-Russian companies stopping to provide service to Russian-protesting entities will mean that they can't achieve their protest objectives anymore.

But his government is directly killing innocent people in Ukraine right now, which is worse.

Different times call for different measures of protest, albeit these two people still share the same goals against the same aggressor.

> his government

In the US, Europe, etc, one's government is actually approximately representative of a large portion of the populace.

In Russia, the government is autocratic and not at all representative of the populace, so comparisons like "their government is doing a worse thing than we're doing to them" kinda falls flat.

What it sounds like is happening here is that Namecheap feels like they want to do something, and they're doing a thing that they are able to do, and something causes damage in the general direction of the intended target. Probably there are non-zero Russian state news, propaganda, etc sites that will be affected by this.

But this is clearly not a war born out of popular desire of the populace, and the collateral damage from this is huge. The amount of harm this will cause random people who may be trying to flee Russia, or to Russian opposition organizations that might now be less able to organize internal protests, almost certainly outweighs any inconvenience caused to the Putin regime.

Yes it's true the Russian regime is not a representative democracy, but it is an oligarchy.

International trade and economic sanctions hits the wealthy elite and is effective at influencing change. It's unfortunate that this inconveniences citizens but when the regime is unjustly declaring war and killing people it's one of the few moves left to make.

I'm not arguing against economic sanctions, those definitely hurt the responsible parties most. Kicking Russia out of SWIFT probably does 10x the damage to the oligarchs as to the citizenry.

Something like kicking every Russian person off of a web hosting platform does not hurt those in power most. Anyone with enough resources to matter in Russian politics will have enough resources to simply employ someone to move everything over and this will barely register as a blip. This probably impacts random citizens 10x more than the people in power.

You are arguing against international trade and economic sanctions though, by saying it inconveniences Russian citizens while ignoring the Ukrainian citizens who are being killed.

Officially removing your business from Russia is a form of boycott, and it does hurt the oligarchs who own the businesses who use the registrar.

I don't think they ( namecheap) has a choice, considering a lot of their employees live/lived in Ukraine.

> a lot of their employees live/lived in Ukraine

I get the impression this is a lot of why they made this business decision. They're standing strongly by their employees.

For sake of perspective.

Let's say Belgium was invaded and I had to to handle a support ticket from the same nationality as the agressor.

I'm not sure if I would have the clarity to handle it with the "expected" care, if I just had to flee my home. While standing with your employees is one thing, I'm not sure if the same support quality can be achieved.

The whole continent received nuke threats by now, making it worse.

Dear fellow Belgian,

Belgium already took part in the conflict, sending arms to Ukraine and troops to Romania to strengthen NATO presence along the border.

Even if Belgium is not yet invaded nor bombed, you have to rethink your doing business with Russia, even though individual Russian citizens you deal with are agreeable people you always had pleasure working with.

That's one of the worst parts of the war. It breaks relationships between millions of people while mere thousands die.

Note: Belgium hasn't played an "active" role. My example was hypothethical to illustrate my point.

NATO is a defensive measure against ( as it is proven now) a valid threat. I'm reiterating my statement of 2 years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23679110 - Which was flagged, but unfortunately seems to be already proven right (partially, since it's not over at all) in hindsight. Since the latest threats of Russia are now also against the EU ( and as such, NATO)

Russia ( as in Putin's Russia) is destroying everything possible. The West ( as in democratic countries) tried for a long time that trade will improve democracy, this is even the underlying 'raison d'être' of the EU.

There is ( i believe) a big shift coming away of that thinking. Where other countries like Hungary ( as in Orban's Hungary) should be aware that the EU is toughening their stance with the latest events unfolding.

I agree Belgium's NATO contributions are not playing an active role in the conflict.

I'm not sure I can agree that Belgium's contribution of machine guns to Ukraine [1] don't qualify as playing an active role.

I guess I should say that regardless of whether it's an active role, I'm happy that they are doing it, and I'm happy that my government is doing the same.

[1] https://www.thebulletin.be/belgium-sends-convoy-military-equ...

Me too. I'm glad Europe as much as possible is united in this, I don't think there is a real precedent like this since ... ever.

Some quirks to work out, but at the current time it doesn't even matter.

I do hope that Ukraine can fend off long enough. It makes me sad that they are on the front and we are sitting in the comfort from our chairs surrounded by countries enjoying hard-fought democracy by our grandparents.

PS. Planning to take a month holiday to help in Ukraine if all goes well. Donated some, but I'd rather spend time physically helping, no military experience.

> There is ( i believe) a big shift coming away of that thinking

The US has just weaponized global finance. A country's access to most of the world is now contingent upon playing by the US/EU's rules. Or, there's China.

Oh no, not the global finance! How sad.

And if by "rules" you mean not acting like North Korea, then yes. You should play by those rules.

> Oh no, not the global finance! How sad.

You jest, but much like a man who has just lost his job and has no foreseeable income, Russia is now entirely dependent upon what savings it has to pay for everything... from China. Surely, China wouldn't take advantage of their comrades, right?

China knows how to fleece a country in need. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93China_25-year_Coo...

> So I'm also very angry at you, for screwing me over

Just out of curiosity, how are you screwed? Is it so hard to move to a different registrar? It's not like you are being kicked out from a cloud provider, which would indeed be a pain in the ass.

If you just had most if not all international payment methods stop, your only option now is to transfer your domains to a russian state owned or controlled entity which should be obvious why it could be problematic.

Commenter said they are fleeing Russia, should have more options available outside the country, no?

If they’re fleeing they’re not yet out, and foreign payments have been stopped.


Wow. Shameful.

People don't get to choose where they are born and describing other people and another society in such a way despite their current government is quite pathetic.

I hope others see your xenophobia and learn to treat others more respectfully.

> Just out of curiosity, how are you screwed? Is it so hard to move to a different registrar?

Normally, if you pay for a service for a year and then it ends after a couple months by surprise, you could describe that as being screwed.

> Additionally, and with immediate effect, you will no longer be able to use Namecheap Hosting, EasyWP, and Private Email with a domain provided by another registrar in zones .ru, .xn--p1ai (рф), .by, .xn--90ais (бел), and .su. All websites will resolve to 403 Forbidden, however, you can contact us to assist you with your transfer to another provider.

Looks like a bunch of people were kicked from Namecheap's cloud services with 0 notice though. Or do you mean that these services are relatively simple, and it would be a pain to migrate from a service provider who provides much more complex services with 0 notice?

The list of countries that the US has invaded is so deep. We must have solidarity with each-other and hold sociopathic leaders accountable, the way current sanctions are being structured is imo targetting civilians much more than russian elite or oligarchs. I wish nothing but peace for Russian and Ukrainian people, good luck friend.

so, putin was right! the west hate us! russophobia!


Nobody hates Russians. Hell, I like Russians a lot. But this is war. World is unfair. I hope you see your "sanction" is such a minor grievance if compared to people that just died in an unjust war. That's why it would have been more elegant and with decorum just to be silent and accept this without whining that (omg!) your domain needs to move.

I really hope the CEO, Richard Kirkendall, responds to your comment. It would be cowardly not to do so.

Edit: It seems like he has responded to other comments but not this one.


> Welcome to having your country at war

Please keep snark off HN at the best of times (this is in the site guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html) and certainly in a case like this. Piling on an individual is definitely not a good way to respond.

I appreciate what you said later in your comment but unfortunately flamebait is determined by the flamiest bit, and you led with that.

Wasn't intended to be snarky. It was a bit of shock and surprise at the anger towards Namecheap and intended to point out the fact that while his country literally kills, terrifies, and displaces a country of people, he's on an internet forum complaining that some company inconvenienced him by no longer providing him a service. His anger is misplaced and misguided; his country is at WAR.

Of course I believe you about your intent. But intent isn't enough. "Welcome to X" is a dismissive phrase that belittles someone while purporting to teach them the obvious about a topic. When the topic is "your country at war", that's extremely provocative and presumptuous.

Anyhow, it's clear you didn't mean it that way and it needn't be a big deal. The big-deal aspect is not one phrase in one individual comment—it's the tendency of humans to become mobs when emotions get activated. That, unfortunately, has been displaying itself a lot here lately.

OK, that's fair.

Yes, but he is an ally. See the nuance please.

I understand that. But how is Namecheap supposed to deal with this nuance? It seems like they're handling it pretty darn well. They said they're not going to provide a service to the people attacking them, and are willing to consider exceptions where it's clear they're hurting people that are supporting Ukraine.

In the meantime, the policy as a whole makes a lot of sense to me. While it's certain to have some collateral damage, but so does shelling a city. Guess which group of people I have more sympathy for at the moment?

I think Namecheap should focus on corporate customers first and foremost, and if after sufficient grace time has passed they believe that it is also right to cut off the personal domains then they should proceed with that. But not like this and without differentiating between Russia and Russians.

Think this tone policing is substantially worse discourse.

That wasn't about tone and you are not contributing.

This is petty, the comment is factually accurate and not written in an inflammatory manner.

These are the consequences of the decisions made by exizt88’s government, it is not unfair to point this out. Nobody is blaming him.

E: How could this comment possibly deserve to be flagged?

Of course these calls are matters of interpretation, but I really don't think you're correct here. "Welcome to $foo" is a snarky way of conveying that you know all about something while the other person is ignorant and doesn't even know the basics yet. When $foo expands to "your country at war", that is a really, really awful thing to say.

> not written in an inflammatory manner.

Suggesting that exizt88 should "welcome" this war is indistinguishable from nationalistic flamebait. The point about government involvement was already addressed in their previous comment. The basic argument that government decisions have unintended consequences is valid, but could certainly be made in a more polite and respectful manner.

That’s not what the expression means in English. This is a particularly strange way to interpret those words.


First of all, you missed my submission about Navalny app being blocked by Apple, and also my submission about getting Internet access to information that is not controlled by the government.

But more importantly, what? You went through my comments, you haven't found evidence of me being against Putin and decided to point that out?

Maybe he prefers to stay on topic.

I'm glad they kept politics out of it when not relevant to the discussion.

Have you already stopped paying taxes, that fund this war?

Hypothetically should Americans stop paying taxes? Their government has a history of arming extremists/conflicts worldwide.

I understand the Ukrainian invasion is sickening/a travesty but I struggle to square what appears to be an underlying hypocrisy.

Indeed. And given the state of democracy in Russia and in the US (for now), you could argue that the average US citizen bears more responsibility for the actions of the US government over the last decades than the average Russian for the actions of the Russian government.

I know at least one person who, around the time of the Iraq war, mostly stopped working and no longer pays taxes. It can be done, but it's a pretty serious lifestyle choice.

While there's a lot to criticize about US foreign policy, invading a western nation with a democratically elected government isn't on the list. You really can't sympathize with Saddam Hussein or the Taliban. I wouldn't (and didn't) stop paying taxes over it.

If the US government invaded Mexico or Canada, I might.

Civil disobedience is a personal decision. Judging other people on their decision to practice it is also personal.

In the U.S. it is even coded into the Declaration of Independence.

Quakers in the United States have been lobbying for this for decades. It has no hope of succeeding but, hey, at least they're trying.

Taxes stopped supporting war in the US a long ago because people don’t like paying for wars they don’t support. The “department of defense” finances its wars by borrowing from the FED. These credit card wars inflate the money supply instead and although everyone still loses its a sneaky way to steal money from people.

Specifically Re: hypocrisy. The scale of the issue is the crux to the yes/no answer to your question. Plenty of people drew the line to choose "yes" for the US war efforts in the past. I personally do not believe it would be justified right now.

Yeah but the main point is America mostly doesn't kill Europeans, certainly not western(ised) ones.

So you are saying it’s ok to kill people with some other skin color or language, like, Iraqi people for example?

No, it's not OK, but the drive that some people have to make it an issue of skin color is misguided. It's not skin color, it's relevance. Equally cruel, but still different.

The world is organized by a small group of countries and power blocks that are in charge, whilst the other 90% has no meaningful economical or military relevance. This in no way makes it "more OK" to do harm, I'm just saying the selector is relevance, not race.

Nobody remembers Iraq anymore and the million dead Iraqis, the destroyed country, the resulting vacuum that produced ISIS, the destruction of Syria, and all under false pretense. Oh, and Afghanistan, that unconquerable land that makes a mockery of all its invaders. Or Libya. Or Arab Spring. Or... And these are just the last 20 years.

Of course, Putin should be condemned, but it is interesting how nobody held the US to a similar standard.

Well, more than a few of those conquests were prevented by Russia. Assad wasn't spared because of his tactical genius. The calculus might change for a few regime changes this year...

Given that Russia has VAT, the only way for Russians to stop paying taxes is to starve to death.

There are multiple ways to not pay Russian taxes that go towards war effort against Ukraine besides starving to death.

Protesting the war is one of them. Leaving is another.

Being complicit and dying are not the only two options.

An average Russian can't just pack up bags and leave willy-nilly. Few countries will issue a visa for anything other than tourism or short-term business. If one has skills that are in demand (say, IT), it's easier - but most people don't have those skills.

I fail to see how protesting the war is a "way to not pay Russian taxes". Unless you specifically mean refusing to pay taxes to protest the war, which would go about as well in Russia as it would in US. Well, except that, once you get arrested, the cops are likely to "entertain" themselves by e.g. putting a gas mask on you and squeezing the hose. Or shoving a bottle into your anus. Or just beating you with rubber batons until you pass out.

The protesting issue you describe is a tragedy of commons. Mass denial of global services to Russian people is exactly the incentive for them to overcome it.

> There are multiple ways to not pay Russian taxes that go towards war effort against Ukraine besides starving to death. Protesting the war is one of them.

Do stores refund your VAT if you have a protest sign or something?

I feel insulted by your attempt to play dumb. Protesting is a way to stop the money you already paid from going towards the war.

Protests in Russia are not a way to stop the government from doing anything. Haven't been for over a decade.

That is debatable. Worked in Ukraine, I don't see what is so different about Russia, especially now when a lot of people understand that Putin is not just an authoritarian, but a completely deranged one.

Ukraine was never an authoritarian country, not even under Yanukovich. He tried to go there after the protests started, and the rest is history.

Russia has been an authoritarian country since 2011 at the very least - and arguably longer, just of a softer variety prior to that - when the regime crushed the largest protest in Putin's times (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011%E2%80%932013_Russian_prot...). By now, it has a special branch of internal armed forces - National Guard / Rosgvardia - which is used primarily against protesters.

So yes, there's a big difference in practice.

Well, yes it is obviously different, but it is a weak proof for impossibly of change via protest.

I did not assert impossibility of change via protest. Only that, given where Russia is now, it would have to be violent, armed protest. And you're not going to get people engaged in that with economic sanctions, no matter how severe.

Russia tax income is less than $20B. But income from selling gas/oil is $80B, plus about same from other types of resource export. So if we talk about not paying taxes it's the Europe who buys that gas should stop buying it, that would make much bigger effect.

Not being EU citizen, I am in no position to tell them to stop, though personally I definitely would.

Perhaps it's not like the US where you stop paying taxes and no one even mentions it for several years. Then you get a slap-on-the-wrist fine and have to pay back taxes.

Indeed. They pay taxes at the source in Russia, so that humans get to know and discuss their net salary only.

It's dehumanizing and depoliticizing and should be changed once Putin is out of power.

Not sure what you're talking about, it was the same when I worked in the UK - unless you switch to self-employment, your employer pays taxes for you and you just get the net salary.

This is not specific to Russia. It's also not even close to dehumanizing. Locally, my employer handles the taxes from my income. I get both numbers on the payslips and get an annual national summary of "what were my taxes spent on".

What.. here in the UK if you're employed then you do not do tax returns, it's automatically deducted from your salary.. and businesses charge VAT at point of sale.. Nothing "dehumanizing and depoliticizing" about it, in fact I wouldn't ever want to change it. Only those with self-employed income complete tax returns, which is way more efficient.

Same in the Netherlands.

I never knew there were so many dehumanizing regimes in Europe!

In Russia your employer pays taxes for you whether you want it or not. You don't even know how much.


I've been setting up infrastructure to do blockade running over the obviously coming great Russian firewall for the last few days and made a mistake of relying on your service. I did expect payment troubles. I did not expect you to help the Kremlin in isolating the Russian populace from uncensored news and communication platforms beyond its reach. Right now my grandparents are going to have greater problem finding news about the war from any other source beyond Putin-controlled bullshit faucets, and so will I. It's likely also the case for antiwar protesters.

Isolating Russian users from foreign internet services is literally the Kremlin's dream, something it could not achieve for a long time even with all the power amassed over the years. It's revolting to see Namecheap and others doing Putin's job for him, while claiming to stand up against his war crimes. And spare me the "tax dollar" spiel. The overwhelming revenue going towards the war comes from oil and gas exports (even more so with the currency crisis), something that is explicitly not being sanctioned - less the Western tech executives are inconvenienced.

If you're going to harm people because of their country of birth to feel better about yourself - say it straight. What you're doing right now will not help a single Ukrainian, and will make Putin more resilient, not less.

The Namecheap CEO said his company employs 1000 Ukrainians.

It's almost certainly the case that they face mass resignations and walkouts if they don't cut off Russia. I think I would trust the Ukrainian employees of Namecheap to know better than a random individual on the internet what is in the best interest of those employees and their community.

I couldn't agree more. Virtue signalling never helps.

Is it still virtue signaling when your 1700 Ukrainian employees are currently getting bombed?

Seems like a bit of a stretch to claim such with so much of their workforce having their life and liveyhoods directly impacted by the Russian invasion.

If a cupcake shop in California stopped serving Russian customers I'd agree with you, but this situation feels just a tiny bit different wouldn't you say.


Crossing into personal attack is not allowed here, no matter how right you are or feel you are.


> Your country is murdering peaceful civilians in another country with barrages of artillery targetted at civilian dwellings, in a war that they started for no reason but to build an empire, and you're here on HN complaining about people protesting it. It seems like you really ought to be complaining about the war, instead of other peoples methods of protesting it.

It would seem to me that you and Namecheap are suggesting that ordinary Russian people are at fault here because they are not revolting against their government, or worse, just because they are Russian. I am not sure if that is the appropriate message to send right now.

I can't speak for Namecheap, but I'm happy to speak for myself. I don't think your characterization of my comment is entirely correct. I've broken down what my comment is and isn't intended to say in detail below:

My comment is intended to suggest that people coming on the internet complaining about protests against Russia's war bear some small degree of responsibility.

My comment is intended to suggest that whatever effort they are putting into those complaints, would be better be used if it was spent against the Russian government.

My comment is intended to suggest that people living inside Russia do bear some extra degree of responsibility for this, though it is by no means anywhere near equivalent to them doing it themselves. When people do things in your name, using soldiers supported by your work (taxes if nothing else), some small degree of responsibility comes with it - even in dictatorships.

My comment is intended to suggest that the degree of responsibility is somewhat higher for the relatively elite class that most people acquiring a domain name belong to.

My comment is not intended to suggest that being ethnically Russian, or being born in Russia and having left the country, comes with any degree of responsibility (past that of what everyone has). I can see how you could interpret it that way, but I don't think that's a reasonable or charitable interpretation.

My comment absolutely does not say that they are morally required to revolt despite the high personal cost, nor do I think that it could properly be interpreted to say that. Rather it takes the extremely limited perspective that it is morally wrong for them to spend time and effort complaining about actions intended to stop this travesty. And my comment observes that one way to reach that conclusion is to notice that the effort would be better spent working against the people causing this travesty, instead of the people trying to stop it.

Yeah, exactly that. Every Russian who isn't out on the streets trying to tear down the Kremlin is responsible for this war

I'm complaining that this effort constrains the anti-war movement in Russia - something that might actually stop the war - and does not do much to Putin or his enablers. No, a domain registar refusing service will not single-handedly isolate the entire country from independent media. But it is hobbling the people that try to keep their infra outside of Kremlin's reach - the exact kind of people that try to do things that Kremlin disapproves of. And, ridiculously, this can be done right - just ban commercial accounts.

The "technologically sophisticated people running services inside Russia" that are "living in privileged situations" are the ones with the means to provide ordinary people with alternative news sources and ways of communication - the exact things required for the popular anti-war sentiment to grow. This stupid measure is not making this impossible, but it is making it harder.

>You don't need a domain name to read news, access the internet, bypass firewalls, etc.

monday_ is setting up infrastructure to help other people do those. I can see how a domain could be helpful for that.


Thank you for this thoughtful and illuminating perspective. I'll make sure that my octogenarian life-long liberal grandparents hear about this. It's long past time for people above 75 to rise up and topple one of the most entrenched and well-defended authoritarian regimes on the planet. Maybe they can solve climate change while they're at it.

On a more serious note - this is about the opposition being denied foreign infrastructure. This translates into less effective protests, drives people into censored and controlled social media ponds, and makes disseminating thing like videos of war crimes this much harder.

I would understand if Namecheap were to block accounts related to Russian businesses. But this is virtue signalling at its worst - this decision makes situation worse, while making the people who made feel better.

I am serious: this is all the important bits regarding the news, anything else is superfluous. There is no sugarcoating this.

That your grandparents have no agency is not the fault of Ukrainians. I totally understand their mindset, having lived in Poland when the iron curtain was still in place. It sucks to be in your - and their - place, but it sucks even more to be sitting in Kyiv right now waiting for the bombs to fall.

> On a more serious note - this is about the opposition being denied foreign infrastructure. This translates into less effective protests, drives people into censored and controlled social media ponds, and makes disseminating thing like videos of war crimes this much harder.

Agreed, which is exactly why I argued upthread, long ago for Namecheap to block businesses but to leave private individuals' accounts in tact as long as possible.

Keep in mind though: any service in the West you currently rely on will likely go at some point in the near future, and some may not give you any warning at all.

> But this is virtue signalling at its worst

No, it is not virtue signalling, they are pretty much based in Ukraine.

Bro idk if you know what its like living in an autocratic regime. But try going to a black lives matters event and wait to be teargassed by the cops, then realize its WAY more blatant in russia.

> Bro idk if you know what its like living in an autocratic regime.

Yes, as a matter of fact I do.

And can the bro talk.

> Only Russia (and collectively, Russians) can stop it.

And how do you propose they do this? What are you suggesting?

The example that comes to mind is Solidarity, but with the kind of popularity that Putin inexplicably still has that may not be a viable option, and it would have to be very carefully planned and coordinated, going off half-cocked will just get lots of people shot in the streets, setting this up will take a lot of time. Alternatively, some of the remaining bigshots may decide to throw Putin under the bus (or, preferably, a tank).

The same way regime change has happened in Russia many times before. And yeah it might be violent.

> Isolating Russian users from foreign internet services is literally the Kremlin's dream

That's 100% the Kremlin's doing. USA and Europe are effectively already at war with Russia and it will only escalate up from there.

Why don’t you cut off United States citizens while you are at it? The regime that has probably done more damage and caused more instability to the world than any other country. The U.S. uses the entire world as their playground couping any Government that disagrees with them or refuses to bend to their demands and bombing their citizens and civilians. What about the atrocities and war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan? Syria? Libya? Yemen? Etc.

Just because it is covered up or whitewashed by the media in the U.S. does not mean it is not happening.

Blaming the citizens of a country for the actions of their Government is absolutely atrocious behavior. I used to have all my domains on Namecheap. I have since moved them, but now I will make sure I never use your service ever again and will never recommend you to anyone else either.

Also the argument that tax money is supporting the regime is ridiculous. If citizens could CHOOSE how their tax money was spent it would be one thing, but in the U.S. our tax money has literally gone to providing weapons and training to terrorist organizations.

Again, this doesn’t EXCUSE the actions of the Russian government, but taking their people hostage to use as leverage is disgusting and despicable.

I'm guessing they don't cut off the United States because the United States isn't invading and bombing the cities where they operate and have employees.

A lot of people are making assumptions about this being a purely PR "woke" move of some kind, ignoring this: https://www.namecheap.com/careers/ukraine

Seems pretty personal to me. If I or my people were actively being bombed by an invading force, I'd take it personally, too. And then I'd take action about it.

To me, Russian behaviour is identical to the Turkish invasion of 1974, the subsequent occupation of Northern Cyprus until this very day, and the installation of a puppet government.

I sympathise with Namecheap's CEO, and had I been anything more than a grad student, I'd have done similar.


Is definitely a personal move.

Go on their website, they operate in 4 countries.

US: 40 people

Portugal: 70 people

Ukraine: 1700 people

India: 70 people

Classic American company delocalizing everything and now crying because all the engineering is based in Ukraine.

You put all the eggs in one basket and now you complain that they broke? Ukraine is in a conflict with Russia not from yesterday, it has been years from the Crimea case.

The CEO of this company never had a thought about de-risking his over reliance on Ukrainian talent to run his company? Or was just too cheap to keep the location there and pocket the difference in added value created by these talents?

Why should NameCheap have done anything differently? The idea that they should have run their company differently so that they could keep doing business with a hostile country presumes that it's more desirable for them to do that than hire Ukrainians.

Yes that's how business works. Have you seen Microsoft being hit by this for example?

From a business and operational point of view is just a silly move to have your business in one country, especially when you claim to be a "US business"

To me look like that of US here you've only a pool of directors, is more a Ukrainian company to me. Many Ukrainian companies have been hit as well, but they're not multinational businesses and don't use HN to voice their concern.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not justifying the war or anything. But from a business point of view, if I were the CEO I would've opened another office somewhere else and transfer know how from the Ukraine branch given that the situation with Russia has been tense for a decade now.

I hope this explains it

Are US businesses even going to be able to keep doing business with Russia? Is it a mistake for any businesses to be based in the US when there's a risk of losing access to Russia? Is it a mistake for businesses to be based in the US when they've already lost access to North Korea and Iran?

It's not surprising that wars cause fractures in international dealings. That seems like the exact kind of thing they would bring. The problem is the war itself, not that every participant of the international economy isn't a perfectly-neutral profit generator.

I can see why someone might want to run their own business as a perfectly-neutral profit generator but I can't imagine others faulting someone else for not doing so.

Is risk management 101, I'm sorry if you don't understand but I don't have time to explain it to you.

If 100% of your business is based in a country that has been threatened to be invaded many times and also had been attacked 8 years ago and you still think is ok go have 100% of your engineering and core business there then is your problem.

You don't know what Risk management? Business continuity?

Is the same reason why you don't deploy your DB in one PC in your basement and hope that nothing happened. If you get flooded and you didn't have a plan to recover is your sole responsibility.

The same goes business wise

Are we talking about the risk of the company being entirely destroyed, or the risk of it being made inconvenient for them to serve Russian customers? I figure this thread is about the second one since those are the consequences that are happening now. If they don't particularly need Russian customers to survive, it doesn't seem like they made a mistake in not preparing against that risk more.

I'm talking about the first, doesn't seems to hard to understand isn't it?

To me the move is like: "well now I've no way to do by business because my engineering and the core team is under bomb shelter, so lets ban the Russian customers because I'm pissed"

They can do that if they're happy with it, I'm with you on this.

It's definitely personal. But it's people you care about being bombed kind of personal, not asset risk.

When the day comes when US tanks cross over into Canada to annex it under a false pretext, running over passenger vehicles; when the US tells its soldiers they are going on a military exercise only to have them shoot at their neighbor; when the US tells the world "if you get involved we'll nuke you"; when the US jails its anti-war protestors for as much as carrying a sign... then perhaps your comparison will be valid. Until then you're just deflecting.

When you already mentioned false pretexes - how's going on with finding WMD in Iraq? Any seccess yet?

Is shooting at neighbor worse than shooting at people half over the world (or they don't count because of wrong skin color)?

WMDs or not, Saddam Hussein's Iraq did not in any way resemble Canada or Ukraine.

The problem with this kind of whatabboutism is that the US invades places run by morally reprehensible people. To keep the comparison with Ukraine going, you've either got to convince us that Saddam Hussein was a nice guy, or Zelenskyy is a butcher. Everyone knows that's bullshit.

Just because a place doesn't resemble Canada or Ukraine or people who look and act like your version of civilized society doesn't give the US a right to wage war resulting in large numbers of civilians being displaced or killed.

What's happening in Ukraine is reprehensible - but the result of US policy blunders in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, numerous South American countries and the like has been more damaging for the world we live in IMO.

While this isn't an apples to apples comparison, maybe you've got to convince us that the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc. are better off after US involvement. From my perspective, the answer is an obvious 'no'. Even under Saddam Hussein (who was a dictator and evil person - I'm in agreement there) the people of Iraq, who lived under some repression in their daily lives, were better off than before the US invasion.

Afghanistan (by supporting Bin Laden and his organization) attacked the US first. Kick sleeping dogs, get bit.

In Iraq, about a third of the population (the Kurds) are unequivocally better off. About a third (he Shias) are arguable. The Sunnis, no, but they were the ones beating up the others. The final history hasn't been written yet (and it could get worse, no question). Still, the story is incompetence rather than malevolence. Marching in and killing Hussein is easily defensible on moral grounds. The chaos after is not.

Blunders in Latin America have to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Mostly they involved supporting one side or another in an existing civil war. The worst excesses predate WW2.

Nobody claims that the US has an angelic past, but comparison to Putin's Russia is not apt.

I wrote a long response to this but I don't think it's worth debating these points further as we probably see and experience the world differently.

> The problem with this kind of whatabboutism is that the US invades places run by morally reprehensible people.

So a Mexican invasion when Trump was President would have been okay? Only if rest of the World knew...

That happened only in your wild imagination. Despite Trump, the US and Mexico enjoy exceptionally good relations, second only to our neighbor to the north.

I see.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that the only thing that matters at all is power. Sadly, the USA is responsible for establishing this paradigm, although pointing this out is taboo whataboutism. Now, we're returning to a world as it's always been: apes compelling other apes with their sticks.

Could you clarify ‘paradigm’ in context?

sure, I mean the paradigm of using military force, and more generally disregarding international law to achieve geopolitical goals

The morality of any military action, can and has been endlessly debated (as it should) because it's non-binary, it's a spectrum. That does not change the fact that these two superpowers could not be further apart in how they go about spreading their influence around the world.

Through oversimplification you can argue that anything is the same as its opposite.

There is a reason that when given a choice, nearly all European countries chose NATO over Russia.

We don't have to build a wall to keep our people in. Or our allies for that matter.

I think the world has changed in the past twenty years, and I think if the U.S. engages in future foreign wars, maybe they will have to suffer similar consequences from non U.S. companies. I hope so, and I say that as a U.S. citizen.

I for one like this. If you are a shitty citizen in our increasing global world, one positive benefit of globalization is the many ways that that global world can now bite you in the ass.

There is no excuse for wars of aggression. And in the past people would throw their hands up and say "well what can I do?" Well we are all connected now, so increasingly there is something you can do.

The world is not changing and the next US invasion will also have zero consequences and lot of justification to placate the sense of morality of the population.

> The world is not changing

You may have blinked and missed it, but it just did. The US has weaponized global finance to an unprecedented level. Russian loans denominated in FX will all default. The stock market is cratering as soon as they are brave enough to open it back up. The ruble is going to be worth less than it was an hour ago. The Great Russian Experiment is underway.

Everything will be back to normal in 4-8 years after a cease fire, though. So sanctions just hurt the most vulnerable of a 150m people country. Congratulations. That will surely prevent future wars like seen with the treaty of Versailles...

I don't think a cease fire will return things to they way they were. Lots of countries have had it with Komrade Putin and will work to see him deposed. Maybe an oligarch or general will help speed up the process?

> Why don’t you cut off United States citizens while you are at it?

Just because they don't cut off the American government, especially Texas, from services, doesn't mean that they can't stand against Russia. This is a blatant false dichotomy. In addition, I 100% blame every tax-payer of Texas for the human rights violations going on there, even those who would call themselves liberals.

Vote with your wallets. Leave.

Please kindly check your whataboutism at the door. It's not HN-caliber discussion.

OP's comment is not whataboutism. It's simply pointing out that this is not the principled stand it is masquerading as. If this action was strictly about countries waging unprovoked wars heavily laden with war crimes, the US would be on the chopping block from NC's perspective. That we were not (nor ever will be) is a testament to the fact that the US is too lucrative a market for them to lose and that this is not principled whatsoever.

Attacking a position solely because it is inconsistent is the definition of whataboutism. (And perfect consistency is the enemy of improving short-term outcomes.)

"A propaganda technique where criticisms are deflected by raising corresponding criticisms of the opposite side."[0]

OP is not deflecting criticisms of Russia, OP is pointing out that the claim that NC is taking a principled stance is blatantly false. Obviously NC can still choose to proceed since they believe that this is a net benefit, but they cannot claim it is a principled stance.

[0] https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/whataboutism

> And perfect consistency is the enemy of improving short-term outcomes.

Sure, I can agree with that point. But everyone can agree that pointing out inconsistency is definitionally not whataboutism.

Whether you call it whataboutism or something else, my point remains: it is still a cheap argument anyone can throw out that isn't HN-caliber.

Calling repeatedly for violent revolution isn't HN-caliber certainly but that hasn't stopped you from doing it all over this thread. <- This is whataboutism by the way.

Sorry, what was the point of this?

Sorry, that was a bit rude and pointless. I apologize. I am just frustrated that your comments all over this thread are suggesting that people should take up arms and violently overthrow their governments in Venezuela and Russia, but you are here policing good-taste commenting on HN.

I don't really know how to address the meat of your point, in that I think OP's point is a perfectly legitimate one and you don't, and I think it is unlikely that I would ever be able to convince you (and you will certainly never be able to convince me).

No, crying out "whataboutism" is precisely what is wrong with our discourse ATM. We are simply unprincipled or contradictory in huge swathes of our daily lives and especially when it comes to these "large" issues. And it is an especially important element in a site like HN with many technical and (rule or process) orientated people. You have to peel back the layers, and the GP comment is spot on in that it spawns a discussion along the lines of "why is this one different?" If we figure out that difference and the collective news and opinion's community apparent double-standard (or not) then we have a good place to allow us to move forward.

Address it, don't dismiss it.

Nobody’s perfect; everyone is a hypocrite to some degree. And we have more pressing matters to address right now, such as Russia invading Ukraine. If a company wants to stop doing business in a country that’s doing wrong, we should support that. If that same company (or a different one) wants to boycott the U.S., they’re welcome to do that, too. People have their reasons for doing things and they’re not always consistent, because life is complex and nuanced, actions must be prioritized, and choices often involve weighing different trade-offs.

You and others use "whataboutism" like it's some sort of checkmate. The point is, many Americans are very eager to police everyone based on their "principles", everyone else except themselves and their allies that is.

The topic of discussion is not whether or not the Russian invasion of Ukraine is bad. If it was, your argument would be applicable.

This topic is analogous to "selective enforcement" from police. If a policeman typically jails blacks but gives whites a warning for the same crime, this is bad, and should be acknowledged as such. Same here.

You're comparing a civil-rights violation to a business inconvenience. Namecheap and others like them owe nobody anything except by contract, and they're going to refund (to the extent possible) those they won't do business with anymore.

It's hypocrisy nonetheless, regardless of the scale

Pointing out hypocrisy is a cheap shot, though, because everyone's a hypocrite to one degree or another. As I've said elsewhere, pointing out hypocrisy usually gets you nowhere in an argument. It's seen by many as a vain attempt to show how smart you are and is generally just a distraction, as opposed to a participation in a substantive discussion of the issue at hand.

Maybe that's how you feel, but not me. I try to live in a principled way, and I think many other people do as well. So I support calling out hypocrisy because I think it makes the world a better place (I would like my own views also challenged on these grounds). In this case, the hypocritical action is needlessly divisive because it paints Russians as "the other", and I don't think this type of thinking helps the world in the long-term.

Whataboutism usually follows some kind of hypocrisy.

The act of pointing out whataboutism are usually done so the hypocritical side can take refuge and refute any discussion. This often happen because hypocrisy is real - otherwise it would be easy to refute the equivalence instead.

As I've said elsewhere, pointing out hypocrisy usually gets you nowhere in an argument. It's seen by many as a vain attempt to show how smart you are, as opposed to participating in a substantive discussion of the issue at hand.

> As I've said elsewhere, pointing out hypocrisy usually gets you nowhere in an argument.

It does sometimes gets you somewhere. Hypocrisy implies the (often moral) concern over the accusation is not a genuine one, that the accusers are merely criticising to advance their agenda. If an agenda is involved, then whatever the accuser says should be taken with some grain of salt.

Pointing out hypocrisy destroys the argument & the discussion as a whole, because it reveals that the other person is arguing in bad faith.

In case of Namecheap: it’s 100% complete bullshit when they say they hate war & invasions, and people are calling them out on that. Instead, they should say “we prefer when US invades, because we hate Russia” which would be much closer to the truth.

Maybe, just maybe, the two things you might think are alike, in fact are only superficially so.

Maybe, just maybe, the two things you might think are only superficially alike, bear a much deeper resemblance.

See how two can play at this absolutely pointless game of offering pithy remarks without any argument behind them?

Indeed. Usually people who lazily point out hypocrisy instead of making substantive arguments haven’t spent a modicum of effort to find and consider distinguishing characteristics that would make them think twice before posting. That’s what makes whataboutism so frustrating in what is supposed to be an intellectual forum. And it’s an attractive nuisance, so it leads to long threads such as this one.

Ah, yes. "What about whataboutism!?"

Calling out whataboutism is just a way to avoid explaining your inconsistent views. Often times people who call out whataboutism haven't really thought out their position.

No, I’m calling it out because it cheapens our discourse. We can, and should, have more substantive conversations here.

So instead of saying “whataboutism” you can tell us why it’s okay to be hypocritical, or why the situation is sufficiently different.

Making statements that are hypocritical cheapens discourse, and we can and should have more substantive conversations here.

You’re putting the burden of the work on the wrong party. It’s the lazy hypocrite hunter who needs to focus that energy making substantive arguments instead.


>"It's not HN-caliber"

Are you suggesting that the hypocrisy is?

For all the problems with the US's actions in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention the run-up to them and their aftermaths), there's an enormous gulf between that and any equivalency to Russia invading Ukraine.

Iraq was a nation that had invaded and annexed a neighboring country, a scorched earth retreat, committed domestic human rights abuses, had attempted to acquire various WMDs in the recent past, and had perpetrated chemical weapon attacks. Afghanistan was knowingly sheltering a group that repeatedly targeted and killed Americans worldwide, culminating in the deadliest attack on civilians in world history.

Again, that's not to say war was the best option on the table, nor no blood on the hands of the US in the end... but not a single one of these justifications for war applies to Russia invading Ukraine.

As another commenter said, the morality of military force is a spectrum of grays, not black and white – but just because criticism can be found in every case doesn't mean every one is equally unjustified or amoral.

> Why don’t you cut off United States citizens while you are at it? The regime that has probably done more damage and caused more instability to the world than any other country.

Is this true? My understanding was that (despite the current conflict), the world has been experiencing a rather unique period of relative peace under US hegemony compared to the past. This is obviously true when looking at timescales since the late 19th/early 20th centuries [https://oneearthfuture.org/opinion-insights/world-getting-mo...]. Clearly the world has been significantly less violent since WW2, which is the time that the US became a superpower.

Datapoints on prior eras are significantly less robust, but the US wasn't a leader at those points anyway. We do know that wars were widespread and brutal, despite having much less advanced weaponry, and we know that life expectancies are far longer today than in the past.

> Again, this doesn’t EXCUSE the actions of the Russian government, but taking their people hostage to use as leverage is disgusting and despicable.

This is how economic sanctions work. What's the alternative? Do nothing? Economic sanctions place pressure on the politicians in the aggressive nation to stop their aggression. The alternatives are to do nothing (morally unfathomable) or to fight them (in which case Russians will die, and if Putin's threats are believed, maybe we all die).

I find it concerning and perplexing that so many hackers are seemingly more concerned about Russia's economy than Ukrainian lives. Every day the conflict goes on, Ukrainians die (and if you're so concerned about economy - their economy is getting destroyed too!). Logically, anything that moves us towards ending the conflict peacefully and quickly reduces lives lost and will spare all involved from further economic retribution.

Additionally, this is personal for Namecheap. Imagine being bombed by a country and having strangers tell you that you have to keep providing services to members the country that is killing your friends, family, or even you! You must continue serving the country that is bombing your home! It is truly absurd.

Look at European and US sanctions, they're way more clever about it:

- Aim of sanctions is to turn Russians against Putin.

- Obviously, you want to target those that don't already hate Putin (no point in preaching to the choir).

- Sanctions should be felt, but should also direct more anger at government than the entity doing sanctions.

- For example, sanctioning a hospital or stopping medical supplies into Russia would be a stupid sanction.

- Second, you want to focus them on people who have sway. Most sanctions are focused on the wealthy and influential Russians. Forbidding oligarchs from living luxury lives in Europe is a good one.

- Your Russian users are very unlikely to hold any sway over Putin, and I'd bet 95% of them already hate Putin (no need to convince them) -- it's a tech crowd.

- My guess is that the vast majority of Namecheap customer's are exactly the ones that will protest against Putin, or organize information campaigns against him. Removing their means of communication won't advance your objective.

- If EU/US would sanction Kasparov or Navalny that would be a 0 IQ move, it's just an extremely dumb thing. This is sort of along those lines.

(I'm not Russian btw, I live in another European country and not a customer)

By all means, promote the Ukraine point of view (I support them 100%). For example, put up links to the speech Zelenskyy did in Russian, aimed at the Russian people.

Ukraine themselves understand how to fight the information war. You treat your prisoners of war well, give them tea and let them call their parents. They'll tell their parents that Putin sent them on a murder campaign on a neighbor, and that they're lucky to be alive and treated well.

That's how you play the game.

> Look at European and US sanctions, they're way more clever about it:

No, we're way past this with things like leading semiconductor manufacturers stopping deliveries to any Russian entity. The goal has shifted to depriving Russia of resources needed to wage a war. Soon Russians will be so poor that their government will have their hands full keeping domestic dissent under control, and hopefully won't be able to wage foreign wars.

This is cancer treatment on a global scale. Unfortunately, it damages not only the tumor, but rest of the body as well, but there are no other options left.

They don't care about the impact or people, they just want to virtue signal.

> We haven't blocked the domains, we are asking people to move.

Putin has announced recently that cross-border payments in USD and EUR are to be blocked. Which means that most Russians affected by this won't be able to pay for a registrar outside of Russia.

People here have mentioned transferring their domain names to NIC.RU, the state-owned registrar. Which means that Putin actually receives more money because of this.

Speaking of taxes. What about people who used the domains for personal use? Or for non-profit orgs?

Putin receives not only more money, it also makes censorship easier.

> Putin has announced recently that cross-border payments in USD and EUR are to be blocked. Which means that most Russians affected by this won't be able to pay for a registrar outside of Russia.


I've paid upfront exactly because of this, I was expecting some kind of ban of cross-border bank transfers. The same reason I've paid for my VPN upfront. No one in Russia, especially those who are politically active, can't really go around without some kind of self-hosted infrastructure.

Now, should Namecheap lag even a little bit with a transfer, which I've HAD to pay for (thankfully, I was able to use other provider rather than nic.ru), I will be left without my private XMPP service, self-hosted e-mail and a lot of stuff which makes my communications at least relatively safe.

While making such moves, they just made my life more dangerous, at time when government already looks for someone on the inside to blame.

> thankfully, I was able to use other provider rather than nic.ru

May I ask you which one you transferred your domains to?

I would prefer not to disclose this due to concerns to my personal safety. Thank you for understanding.

Wouldn't that mean those people couldn't pay namecheap anyway?

These people have already pre-paid namecheap services.

> Which means that Putin actually receives more money because of this.

When you cut a country off from trade, obviously some agents within that country are going to get more business.

So we shit on the people while we make Putin's friends richer?

Pardon my ignorance, but doesn't nic.ru already make money for each .ru domain that is registered?

Much like Verisign makes money for each .com/.net and Affilias makes money for each .name/.org that is registered?

Isn't the whole point of running a registry that you also get to collect some sort of fee for running the service?

Which is why a lot of Russians don't use .ru domains. But Namecheap throws them out anyway.

> Which means that Putin actually receives more money because of this.

Realistically how much money are we talking about?

About 10 minutes worth of oil supplies to Germany.

If everyone follows namecheap, this will be a boost to the Russian economy. Putin will be very thankful for namecheap's generous donation of all Russian customers to Russian owned businesses.

That’s not how global economies work.

Countries depend on each other for goods and natural resources.

North Korea is largely isolated economically and they’re not thanking the world for their self-sufficiency.

Check out Russia’s top 10 imports:


They don’t produce enough computers, machinery, vehicles, etc. to support their population.

If those imports get cut off no one is thanking Putin. You can’t just spin up a national car company or a pharmaceutical company that quickly to compensate. It’s just a loss as quality of life and consumer spending goes down, dragging the economy down with it.

Russia already tried this back when they were called the USSR and it was a disaster. Their envoys to DC thought our American grocery stores were staged because they couldn’t believe the US had fresh fruit available to the average citizen and no bare shelves.

> North Korea is largely isolated economically and they’re not thanking the world for their self-sufficiency.

North Korea is trying to establish itself on a foundation of self-reliance. Namecheap's actions confirm the importance of their philosophy.

Your "That’s not how global economies work." conveniently skips over that namecheap has a large number of Russian customers but probably zero NK customers. North Korea doesn't apply, except as a guide on how Putin can make Russia more self-reliant in the face of NATO.

> You can’t just spin up a national car company or a pharmaceutical company that quickly to compensate.

But Russia already has several major car companies, several major pharmaceutical companies, and several web hosting companies...

Webhosts would probably be the easiest to quickly spin up, especially since it would be company #25 or #125, not the first ones to pave the road.

You seem completely unaware of the entire 100 years of sanctions practice Russia has, as if Russia would be starting from scratch instead of their long established home grown industries.

Which means more tax money! This is so true.

> NIC.RU, the state-owned registrar.

But without SWIFT, will they have trouble to pay the ICANN fee?

Most registers accept other currencies too, like GBP, CAD or AUD which you didn't mention as being blocked.

USD is a shorthand for any foreign currency in Russia. It's really hard to pay for anything in anything other than roubles right now in Russia (which is especially hard if you're trying to leave the country).

You are doing really dumb and hateful thing. The people that will be affected by this are usually the same who sponsor or even are the opposition. They were fighting Putin long before the war started and long before you started caring about it. It’s the same as to stop selling paper to members of White Rose resistance group [1], because they were Germans. A clear signal that risking your freedom or life does not worth it, because the world hates you no matter what you do. Russian people will pay very high price without your involvement: by not being humane, you just show them that Putin was right and West is against them.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rose

> Putin was right and West is against them.

Counter point: Look at West Germany and Japan after WWII. The West changed tack pretty quickly after the war ended. The West wasn’t against the people, they were against the ruling parties and the infrastructure/policies that supported it.

If it’s possible to punish an authoritarian aggressor without harming the citizens, I’d love to hear ideas. But in Germany and Japan, the average citizen paid a huge price for getting caught up on the wrong side of the war and I’m not sure how much differently it could have been done without countering the unprovoked aggression of both nations of which other country’s citizens paid a huge price.

The difference between WW2 and post Soviet Russia was the Marshall Plan- where the US pumped incredible amounts of money to build up the post-war economies of Europe and Japan. The same didn't happen post Soviet collapse Russia, in fact, I'd venture to say Russia was treated more like post- WW1 Germany- forced to assume all Soviet debt, a collapsed economy and social structure, with predictable results (the rise of Putin).

If this situation ends up with the collapse of the Putin regime, I hope that the West doesn't repeat the mistakes of the 90s and actually comes with real help to create a strong, confident, freer Russia.

After WWII members of White Rose were dead.

It is necessary to put sanctions against the entire country, but there’s a reason why foreign policy is executed by government, not by individuals.

Might as well drop a nuke or two then? Extreme actions have a proven track record, after all. It would certainly cause the government to reconsider, civilian casualties be damned.

I guess the sarcasm wasn't clear enough. Too late to edit now.

> The West wasn’t against the people, they were against the ruling parties and the infrastructure/policies that supported it.

Ah yea if we exclude things like https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_Ameri... . If you’d like some ideas how about you don’t repeat mistakes like this once again. All you’re doing is strengthening putins demagoguery

> Putin was right and West is against them

If having to transfer a domain sends someone scurrying to Putin, they were far from innocent to start with.

I don't support the Russian invasion, I'm not Russian, and all the other caveats that put me on the "right" side of this.

All that to say I am cancelling my Namecheap account and in the future will actively recommend alternatives to your services. Not only is what you're doing completely ineffective, it is likely doing more harm than good to decent people.

Absolutely. This sort of virtue signalling should be frowned upon. I have over a 100 domains in namecheap which is a drop in a bucket I'm sure for them but I'll be moving them to porkbun.


Would you give me a list of "wrong" things I shouldn't do, or "wrong" places I shouldn't live, in order to not have my service terminated in the future? I live in Turkey sometimes. Am I in danger of losing my Namecheap account if Erdoğan (the dictator) does something even more crazy than usual, in the future?

> Am I in danger of losing my Namecheap account if Erdoğan (the dictator) does something even more crazy than usual, in the future?

Yes. To keep your account active, please simply instigate a revolution against Erdoğan and achieve regime change. Thanks.

It seems the answer is clearly Yes, you are in danger of losing your account if Erdogan does something crazy. I'm confused why you would ask this question. Russians are being banned for the crazy actions of Putin, why wouldn't Turks be if their country engaged in similar actions.

You are only confused because you take it for granted that countries of the first world can do whatever they want and don't comprehend that people in other countries take it as double standards

Arab oil embargo? North Korea? Several countries embargo the United States.

Yup. Americans weren't banned when they warred on Iraq and Afghanistan and killed a million people over some dude in a cave.

It's a joke!

It's because first world countries (especially U.S.) are not being banned at all.

Of course you are. Any service provider will have the power to deny you further service. Businesses are going under because they were exposed to sanctions due to trading mostly in Russian goods. They can't really do much about that either.

There would be a point in your words, if only Namecheap wouldn't refuse to reimburse me money for terminated service!

Just “contact their support” or be on the lookout here on hn and CEO will sure be “making exceptions” in hn comments. Don’t fret.

It seems clear that the answer is you are in danger of losing much more than a domain if Erdogan does something crazy. You're in danger of losing your ability to do business with other countries at all. You're in danger of being conscripted into the army and sent to your death (or dying resisting said conscription orders). Hell, you're in danger of the crazy thing just being Erdogan deciding to sentence you to death for a made up crime.

To some degree there are just inevitable risks in life, but it's absolutely in your interest to influence your government into doing as few terrible things as possible, and to move to one that does less terrible things, and I for one think that's a very good thing.

What are the steps people should do, in your opinion, that help you influence totalitarian government?

I wonder how western people influence their governments to stop buying russian gas and make russian oligarchs even richer. Though, I agree that thrre are inevitable risks in life, I still think it’s a very ignorant thing to say, that people, who live under the dictatorship should just go and change how things are. I hope you’ll never experience living in a country where people are killed for opinions and prisoned for likes and reposts on the internet.

HN skews young so unrealistic platitudes make their way into these threads frequently. When these people grow up they may or may not learn that "life is not that simple", depending on their comfort level while growing. Those outside the US and West in general probably already know better than to say things as simple as "Why not just overthrow the government stupid?"

I'm not Turk. Good assumption though.

I am an American and lucky not to have anything in Russia but as a namecheap customer, I urge you to please be patient with people and give them time to move. I understand the decision you made and it is your right to do so but please do not block someone just because they couldn't do it by a certain date. I am sure you know but empathy is really needed right now. Your March 6 deadline worries me.

We'll definitely consider extending the deadline if it is causing problems.

You are making a call right now that you will come to regret not unlike Matthew Prince (Cloudflare) did. Your reasoning is in the right spot, but the erosion of trust and the blanket nature of your decision right now is going to hurt you more than help anything.

I'd urge you to reconsider - if not I'll reconsider my business as well (not Russian related at all).

Agreed. While I politically agree with the Namecheap CEO in this case (which by the way, is a total coincidence), I'll move all of my domains out of Namecheap for the likely scenario that in the future the Namecheap CEO won't agree with me politically, since apparently now arbitrary political opinion determines if I can do business with them.

To be a voice on the other side. Cloudflare's call to stop supporting the white supremacist website that was boasting that cloudflare was supporting them is one of the reasons why I'm now a cloudflare customer. And while I currently use other registrars, this call is the strongest reason I've ever had to become a namecheap customer.

I'd much rather do business with people with morals and integrity, than those without. That's for moral reasons and business reasons, people with morals are less likely to screw you.

That’s tottaly understandable. As a russian I just want you to know, that Namecheap do not harm our elite who gains from the government policies, they harm people like me, who are trying to built a blog.

Do not want to doubt your words, but there is not much moral in this.

>Your reasoning is in the right spot, but the erosion of trust and the blanket nature of your decision right now is going to hurt you more than help anything.

Sometimes people are willing to take a sub-optimal decision in order to uphold what they believe in. Not everything has to have a positive ROI or an in-depth positive risk analysis

> that you will come to regret

This is news to me. I've not seen anything from Prince or Cloudflare that demonstrates they thought they made a bad decision.

Cloudflare is absolutely a false comparison. Punishing Nazis is a good thing. Punishing all Russians for the actions of a government they have no say in based solely on their nationality is being a Nazi (which is not a good thing).

Could you mention what was the Cloudflare decision you are referring to? I must have missed the news cycle. Thanks.

They are likely referring to how Cloudflare dropped DDOS protection for Daily Stormer and 8chan.


Cloudflare is a near-monopoly in its segment, Namecheap is not. There are plenty of alternatives.

How will you determine if it's causing problems, and at what point in the next 5 days will you potentially start those considerations?

We'll extend it for three weeks and if someone needs more time, I'll ask our support to make exceptions.

I don't think I can continue being a Namecheap customer if you're going to treat my patronage as a political bartering chip. What is happening in Russia right now is unequivocally abhorrent, but the efforts you're making are completely meaningless if you're just going to walk them back on a case-by-case basis. It's almost like such a sweeping action might have serious, collateral damage while also doing nothing to dissuade the war crimes that Russia is carrying out right now.

If you object to specific companies/governments using your service for wrongdoing, then address those cases individually. Pulling the rug out from an entire nation of users is horribly short-sighted and makes me question the values that made me use Namecheap in the first place.

Why don't you extend it to three weeks for everyone?

What if it's a historical blog without someone checking their email?

You guys are nuts.

What is the probability that you would simply revert this decision based upon community feedback?

Why are you giving an unrealistic deadline when the transfer takes 5-7 days?

It would be rightful, if only Namecheap wouldn't deny me reimbursement for their move. =( They're just getting away with the money.

> I cannot with good conscience continue to support the Russian regime in any way, shape or form. People that are getting angry need to point that at the cause, their own government

I understand you have a lot of employees in Ukraine and you have to show support. Your heart is in the right place. I empathize and would try to do the same if I was in your shoes. But you didn't do a good job here, unfortunately.

When gitlab had to make a similar move [0] at least they had a good excuse — security of their customers' data.

Your message does not make any excuses like that. You straight up equate being russian / living in russia / whatever it is with supporting the war. You fell victim to the same primitive xenophobic thinking you're claiming to condemn.

This is a bad decision. Being a CEO is a tough job, but I think you could do better. I wish you luck.

[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21437334

> I understand you have a lot of employees in Ukraine and you have to show support. Your heart is in the right place. I empathize and would try to do the same if I was in your shoes.

For additional context to readers, according to LinkedIn 834 of 1,137 employees (73.35%) are located in Ukraine.


>Your message does not make any excuses like that. You straight up equate being russian / living in russia / whatever it is with supporting the war. You fell victim to the same primitive xenophobic thinking you're claiming to condemn.

From parent:

>I sympathize with people that are not pro regime but ultimately even those tax dollars they may generate go to the regime.

I've paid in full for four domains just four days ago -- some two hours before I was thrown into a police bus. I may understand why you did this, but this is a low move, nonetheless.

Tax dollars or not, you're imposing extra costs on your users, most of which relied on your services for decades, and terminating any trust they ever had in your services.

Selective collective punishment is a really bad way to treat customers.

Russians are out in the streets protesting and even Russian oligarchs are speaking out. Apparently that doesn't mean anything to Namecheap though, they're all guilty. This is really a PR move, nothing more.

As others have highlighted, providing services to any American supports war crimes, if we go by their logic. No one should be doing anything like this unless they are trying to comply with sanctions. Which, as far as I know, are only currently targeting senior Russian officials. Even then, sanctions tend to hurt everyday people more than the regimes they're trying to target. Does anyone really think that people in an authoritarian country can control what their leader does? This is the same mindset that lead to the Japanese internment camps in WWII, just a difference in degree.

Even though I've been a happy Namecheap customer for years and have recommended them to others, this is extremely troubling and I'm going to look at migrating my own domains from Namecheap. Bonus points for being too cowardly to advertise this on your site.

Everything about this screams immaturity. You didn't think about this, how it would affect others, whether or not it would actually improve anything for anyone, etc. This doesn't affect the Russian government in any way whatsoever. You are not making a difference, not a positive one anyway. You're acting purely based on spite, attacking mostly innocent people in any way you can purely because they are living under a government you disagree with, not necessarily by choice. I don't know what led you to believe that russian citizens can just wake up one day and decide to kick out the government, but I am sorry to say that this is not true.

Thankfully I don't use namecheap, but if I did, I would be moving my domains out of it right now, russian or not. I do not wish to rely on a service run by people who may throw a childish tantrum and terminate my service at any time due to something I may not have any control over.

War by its very nature creates economic disruptions. Today there are business who are liable to be out of commission not because they have ideological differences but because their employees are uninterred corpses lying where they were murdered or their offices are bombed out husks. Expected business that by its very nature crosses borders between victim states and aggressor states to continue as normal is in fact itself the unreasonable position. It's like standing in the streets where the bombs are falling and shouting loudly about your sandwich being late.

Lets take a moment to examine the language you are using. The language given described the reason they feel they need to take the action they are taking even if you disagree with their reasoning but you have baselessly redefined it as "spite" and a "childish tantrum". It looks like exactly the opposite.

They have chosen as is their right not to do business with some customers and you suggest that by forcing clients to spending a few hours migrating to another providers they are "attacking them".

The only people being attacked are those who are getting shot and blown up. Tone down your rhetoric and don't make events of international and historic scope about you. Expand your perspective.

Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean they didn't think it through. I'm a customer for 10 years and will continue to be after this.

I might actively move more domains to my namecheap account after this.

I'm about to do this!

You're missing the point. It's supposed to inconvenience the Russian people.

You can't have it both -- benefit from western companies and technology, but keep a leader in power that is completely indifferent to any human life and suffering other than (arguably) the one of the Russian people.

We like to think that we're all just citizens under the rule of the few, but we're all complicit in who governs us, whether we like to admit to it or not.

In the west we're all very aware that any kind of regime change in Russia will involve bloodshed amongst innocent Russian people, but that is already happening right now -- except you've exported the genocide to your neighbors, Belarus and Ukraine, and that is unacceptable.

> keep a leader

it’s funny sometimes how can people from 1st world countries be so ignorant. We don’t and we can’t keep a leader. Russia is a totalitarian country, where elections don’t work. We cannot vote him out. Democracy doesn’t work in totalitarian regimes. That’s why they are called totalitarian. Oh and by the way, as a representative of a western country you could also help ukrain by stop buying russian gas and oil to stop sponsoring russian oligarchs. How about you go and make your government use exclusively renewable energy right now? Otherwise, it seems like this genocide in Ukrain is as much your choice as it’s a choice or russian people.

Russian oligarchs are sanctioned in EU since today.


We do know that your ballot there doesn't count. The "vote" is the populace going in red square despite all the odds stacked against them.

That’s exactly what people do. Not just Red Square. Everywhere in the world. And if it was that easy to change things by protesting, this animal Putin would be already behind the bars. Your comments make me think that you haven’t been in a situation where you feel scared for your life when you are just expressing your opinion. And this is exactly the situation most of russian people are. Despite that, a lot of them are still fighting the regime. And those who don’t, you can’t blame them for not wanting to die or spend years in prison.

My question about the west stop buying gas left unanswered. You can’t even put your money for the heating at stake, but you are asking from russians to sacrifice their lives. How is it not hypocritical?

Ukrainian citizens are doing just fine at kicking your governments ass at this time, sacrificing their lives while at it. Time to do more and rise up. If they can do it, you can. Take control against your own corrupt and bloodthirsty government, at least you won't be under threat of nuclear attack and constant carpet bombing like the ukrainians while you're doing it.

This is a tone-deaf comment. All of us who otherwise agree with your position and support it: you are alienating us.

I have friends and acquaintances who fled, or stayed and had their eardrums blown out by flash-bangs at protests.

My friends' student was raped in prison for attempting to "take control against her own corrupt and bloodthirsty government", as you put it.

Where were you in 2020? What domains did Namecheap drop then at a week's notice in a flurry of support?

Now you are preaching to the choir (i.e. the very "IT-shniki" whose support for your position was never even in doubt), and calling them too apathetic or too meek or too unworthy.

I get it: you see suffering, in your own ranks, you have power, and you want to use that power to do good.

But please listen when we explain to you that you're revelling in scoring on your own net. This action hurts your own team and not the opposing one.

Perhaps the issue with your line of thinking is here:

> This action hurts your own team and not the opposing one.

The majority of us in the west don't regard this as team west vs. team Russia. We regard it as democracy vs. Putin. Seeing it as anything else is playing into his rhetoric.

For the CEO of Namecheap, in this context the two teams are "people who support what I support" and "people who don't".

This action hurts the CEO’s "people who support what I support" group, and to add insult to injury his replies here malign those very same people.

You have no idea what does it mean to be in opposition to government in Russia or Belarus. You have apparently no idea how long and how hard people fought there for the change. How often do you take control of your own country? Do you do it before breakfast or after it? Do you have any advice?

I've seen some uprisings and they've been put down and definitely respect and sympathize with those people and as I said we will try not apply this policy towards those by making exceptions but those people are a minority. In fact Navalny, is one of my personal heroes. Probably one of the bravest men I've seen in my lifetime but most Russians don't feel this way. There needs to be more done.

May I ask in numbers how many people do you think support Putin’s regime in Russia, and where did you get this “most Russians” from? Navalny is my personal hero too btw, and I went to protest every time he was arrested. First time was in 2012. Did you wait for 10 years to make an action against russian government by asking people to move their domains (aka deplatforming)? The fact that your business was operating in Russia seems like you didn’t give a f*k about being moral. In 2014 russian military occupied Crimea. Did you just in Feb 2022 realized how bad russian government is? Seems like it didn’t stop your company from making money on russian users for multiple years.

everyone that is affected by this war is inconvenienced ( mild way to say F'd up) but, if a company that is totally in a country being attacked by an aggressor. that said company has every right to respond in any way to to try and live to defeat said agreesor. sorry that you may feel like you are being singled out. But. that is life. Hopefully there is enough russian blowback against their leadership that makes a change for russians. As n american that grew up during the heights of the cold war and all the doom and gloom both our countries talked about. The day the the Berlin wall fell and the Russian people themselves felt the relief of obtaining freedoms of hope and prosperity, let me tell you all, we americans didnt feel like we won the cold war. we felt relieved that the war was over and life would be great for everyone. now sad that hasnt happened

The fact that you (and several people who replied to me) assume I am russian despite me not once stating such says a lot about your current state of mind. Relax, take a deep breath, and think your actions through. You are angry at people you've never met and feel desperate to divide them into the "with me" or "against me" camps to justify your anger.

It's nice to know that you're certain Putin wouldn't ever use nuclear weapons against is own people, or that if he launched at another country the retaliation wouldn't hit any Russians who are against him.

Please donate a few bucks to CAGE or something to address Guantanamo Bay too, I know you can.

This kind of reaction is exactly why more businesses need to take this approach. It's painfully inconvenient for a Russian who has an interest in being able to use the service, and the more this occurs, the less anyone is happy to just sit by.

Yes, I'm sure the thing that will finally lead the russian people to rise up against Putin will be some random non-russian domain registrar forcing them to transfer their domains to a russian one. We truly are living in the age of armchair activists, huh?

Best comment so far. The mail ia indeed immature and the actions are unproductive.

> I don't know what led you to believe that russian citizens can just wake up one day and decide to kick out the government, but I am sorry to say that this is not true.

Dude, that is how it works. Due to the nukes, the only ones who can remove Putin is the Russian people.

A large percentage of Russians still support Putin, the sanctions are a great motivator for fixing that issue.

And the only way Russian people may get information and organise is online. So let’s disrupt operations of whatever Russian web remains accessible. Watching more propaganda TV should help.

Everyone should respect government imposed sanctions and laws. Infrastructure services should not discriminate beyond that. Denying service based on nationality of the client is akin to discriminating by gender, race, or faith.

Also it’s ok to pull from any market for whatever reason, and not renewing contracts, but kicking paying customers before the term of the (prepaid) service is over is just not cool.

I think you replied to the wrong comment, as I wasn't talking specifically about Namecheap.

I was simply responding to the claim that it's impossible for the Russian people to remove Putin from office.

It's possible, but not without civil war.

A great motivator? What a way to misunderstand basic human psychology.

Sanctions just give dictators more excuses to blame everything on external enemies. I honestly don't understand how anyone thinks they can work.

What other alternative reaction to the invasion would you suggest?

Send weapons to help the Ukrainian defense (already being done). Also apply sanctions, but only targeted to people in power (e.g. freezing assets in Switzerland, not buying more gas from Russia). I'm aware that these can indirectly affect laypeople (e.g. not buying gas creating unemployment in the gas sector) but that's just life. But what I find dumb is sanctions targeted explicitly at laypeople. Those who don't support their government don't deserve them, and those who do get more reasons to close ranks with their government because "the enemy" is now actively making their lives miserable.

Admit to the Ukranians that they have been cruelly used as a cat's paw to prod at the Russian and there never was any "Western" intention to support them.

Make it clear to Ukraine that their only hope really is being a neutral buffer state.

Roll back the Romanian and Polish missile bases and the Turkish tracking systems.

Sign the USA back up to all the missile treaties that they have backed out of.

That ought to secure another 40 years of fragile peace in Europe.

Or we could just keep shoving weapons into the Ukraine. Wonder how that will work out? I mean weapons always make things better.

While I am so frustrated that everyone is cheering on the powerless nation in a brutal fight they can't win, you just gave a most sensible solution that can spare us a total nuclear war.

Dude, other countries also have nukes. Other countries are buying russian gas and oil. Other countries can just easily wake up one day and stop buying russian gas. Other countries can also send their troops to ukraine to help. There are a lot of things other countries can do to get rid of the dictator. So why don’t they?

Do they not?

>Dude, that is how it works

No it isn't


I find this action from Namecheap really lazy virtue signalling and your justifications to be hypocritical, for reasons pointed out elsewhere in this thread.

If you were really interested in attempting to do the right thing, you would ban on a case-by-case basis, or donate a percentage of your profits to the Red Cross in Ukraine or something. There's no justification for this heavy-handed nonsense.

I'll do my best to stay away from your company.

Someone should make a list of websites and services that ban users based on ethnicity/nationality. I for one, will stay away from services like namecheap (I am neither Russian nor Ukranian), simply because this doesn't help anyone, but will be used as justification by the pro-Putin guys.

I'm curious what it's going to look like 40-60 years from now then the US finally fractures.

All the Americans in here who think this could never be our problem are 100% wrong.

Just reading an interesting SF novel (Ken Macleod's Beyond the Hallowed Sky) where one of the geopolitical plot points is that America has returned to democracy (although still having a substantial crazy demographic).

Oh, that looks interesting. Space operas aren't normally my thing, but I'm a sucker for multiple POVs/story threads.

(I'm just on HN for the book recs. I'm using you all. Sorry.)

As somebody who works in politics, I'd say that everywhere has a substantial crazy demographic and one of the fundamental problems any governing system has to address is what to do with them. (And of course, that's assuming they can all agree on which demo are the crazy ones...)

75% of their company is based in Ukraine.

Russian forces are literally bombing their offices in Kharkiv. How is it "virtue signaling" to say you're not happy to sell your services to the country trying to kill you?

this whole thread and people's responses disgust me, people saying they're virtue signaling, and that it's "bad business practice" to cut off services like that. They're in a warzone and this is what people are upset about?!

How do you get off punishing normal people for the supposed crimes of their government? Are you going to go back and retroactively ban U.S. users for the many war crimes various regimes have committed over the years? Are you from the U.S.? Maybe you should just resign -- no point in you having a "platform" as an executive when your government has committed such atrocities around the world.


You can slam "whataboutism" all you want, but it successfully points out hypocrisy, double-standards and opportunism.

The point is that no two situations are exactly the same. And whataboutism dodges the details.

Maybe the CEO’s stance is: I won’t do business with a country that annexes another non-aggressive country through violence.

that's... exactly the point, but with the reverse conclusion. You can always paint a narrative about how this situation is different than others. You can justify anything you want by just working backwards in this way. So instead, we have values and principles, and those are the things that should be under debate.

I’m a little confused. Are you saying the CEO failed to convey his values and principles?

... while I'm alive.

Otherwise the Kingdom of Hawaii might have something to say.

The Hawaiian islands were individual tribes until they were subjugated in a bloody war, with weapons and assistance from Americans: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamehameha_I#Unification_of_...

That’s why it’s possible to play “what about” all day long and not get very far. It’s almost always apples and oranges.

Ukraine isn’t Iraq or any other US military action. It doesn’t mean the US actions were good. It’s just too dissimilar to be an apples to apples comparison.

The closest apple I can think of is another European authoritarian leader, with bold threatening rhetoric and a strong nationalist identity who felt humiliated and threatened and decided to purge his opposition while promising other leaders he wouldn’t invade his neighbors before quickly annexing much weaker, non-aggressive neighboring countries that he thought lacked sufficient cultural and geographical distinction or were part of his country’s historical borders.

And a lot of people had regrets about not pushing back sooner on that guy and incorrectly trusting that he would stop after the first country or two.

> The Hawaiian islands were individual states until they were subjugated in a bloody war, with weapons and assistance from Americans

FTFY, but what's your point? Just about every state on planet earth came about through violence.

That is the point. There are no perfect countries to use as a moral compass, so we’re all making up and changing the rules as we go along. That’s why every country looks hypocritical depending on your timeframe and subject to endless (and fruitless) whataboutism.

"What about history?"

Assigning different priority to things and spending energy on one issue but not another may be hypocrisy. We don't know in this situation. Just as you commenting here right now and not mentioning issues in Papua New Guinea doesn't make you a hypocrite not caring about human lives.

I am from neither country but I’m going to move my secondary domain away from namecheap. What you’re doing is not only immature and unfair, it’s simply absurd and stupid. You’re coming across as an edgy and impatient person trying to score some desperate goodwill brownie points.

And you know I know for sure it’s immature and stupid? The way you’ve been responding in this thread. “Okay maybe we will extend”, “maybe lenient if we see it’s needed”. Ffs! Looks like someone at namecheap has gone bonkers.

> People that are getting angry need to point that at the cause, their own government.

I'm in this thread getting angry and I live in California. Are you prepared to be consistent by looking into my government's "war crimes and human rights violations"?

If the US started bombing Ukraine, would you really complain about Ukrainians cutting off American access to their services?


The CEO came here to justify his actions by referring to specific violations of his personal values - a spurious claim in my opinion. Values are applied consistently, and you can bet there will be no action taken against western governments that are guilty of the same things that allegedly motivated Namecheap to do this. Instead the motivation is emotional and political, and it is unreasonable to remove services from paying customers because you're upset. I will never rely on a company that behaves like this.

> Values are applied consistently

I don’t know of many governments have have waged war in Europe recently.

You can mess around in the garden (overseas) as much as you want, as long as you keep the house clean.

That’s not fair, but it is consistent.

Beautiful. FTR I'm totally against the war and completely understand where namecheap is coming from. But this is proper racist.

I would also call it xenophobia as well. I can't believe what I'm reading here.

This is proper racist post-colonialism, or am I missing sarcasm tag?

No, no, this is me trying to indicate what is implicitly said by getting so worked up about an invasion of Ukraine while being perfectly fine with one in Iraq.

I mean, people weren't exactly fine with it, but I didn't see anyone sanctioning the US govt either.

Of course the alternative is saying that it's fine as long as it's us (western'ish world) invading them, instead of us being invaded, but that's even more hypocritical.

Yes, I see, thanks for clearing it up. I understand and can agree with this reasoning, - even if as a Russian (anti Putin and anti war, of course), this war is just too painful and too overwhelming for me to consider it in a broader anti-colonialist picture.

> You can mess around in the garden (overseas) as much as you want, as long as you keep the house clean.

> That’s not fair, but it is consistent.

I guess xanaxagoras was just assuming that the CEO of Namecheap had basic human decency.

We aren't removing services, we are asking people to find another provider. There are thousands out there. We aren't a monopoly here.

If you pay for some service for a year and the provider stops providing it after 1 month, would you agree that the provider has not removed the service?

So given that context - that you're not removing services - what is the meaning of the "whitelist" you've mentioned in several other comments? What are those users being whitelisted from?

Are you fucking kidding me? Questioning USA’s human rights violations and war crimes in a thread where an American company is threatening to shutdown accounts of people in a country because their leader has gone berserk is whataboutism?

So basically you’re supporting - either live in a country that’s strong enough to get away with war crimes, or be ready to get fucked whenever an extra righteous American company/CEO feels whimsical!

Or even better - if you want to talk about this very topic and point out this double standard - then do that in “another thread”, right? That is some logic!

Or maybe you just want to be saying “war crimes in some countries are more kosher than war crimes in certain other countries”.

It's not whataboutism. Blaming the actions of a government on its citizenry in this way is a stupid policy that generalizes badly. That's obviously the point and you ought to be able to tell that!

Are you sure this will help your objective?

Putin is a maniac and his war is horrible.

But as you've probably seen from all the 'prisoners of war' videos out of Ukraine, most soldiers don't want to fight this war.

Russians that are savvy enough to setup their own domain, will also be the ones that use a VPN to read foreign news. Very few in the Russian "tech scene" like Putin.

Shutting down their means of communication may make it harder for them to stage demonstrations, etc.

Instead, you should "magically" add emails to their inboxes, with e.g. Zelenskyy's speech to the Russian people, or add banners when they login to control panels etc.

(I'm not Russian btw, I live in another European country and not a customer)

> But as you've probably seen from all the 'prisoners of war' videos out of Ukraine, most soldiers don't want to fight this war.

Most soldiers? How many remorseful POWs have you seen vs. the ~200k soldiers actively participating in the war?

Some POWs will say almost anything to not get killed and have a chance at freedom again. Just like in a trial, a statement or confession made under duress is not valid and they’re likely under extreme duress and afraid for their lives.

Tampering with your customers data would destroy confidence in their business and might actually be a violation of the law.

Probably, but I'm not talking about legality here. In war people do a lot of illegal things.

I'm just saying, banning this people are probably not having the desired effect.

Showing an alternative point of view would be more effective.

That said, I don't think this is the right crowd. My guess is that 90% of them are already heavily against Putin.

Be very careful forming opinion about Russia's army based on these videos. These videos are intended to help other Russian soldiers decide to surrender ("you'll be treated well" message) and that's about it.

They are ruthless and this war is going to be absolutely ruthless if it will not stop soon. Russians had no trouble bombing and shelling sieged cities, hospitals, and even UN convoys in Syria, and they'll do it in Ukraine, too. They're alredy using cluster munitions in the city streets, shit like butterfly mines, etc., and it's going to be a lot worse once they set up heavy artilery and complete the sieges.

This time they'll not be able to lie about it in the west all that easilly, judging by the reaction in my country. Xenophobia will be less of a hindrance to seeing things clearly, at least in some eastern european countries, compared to their Syrian involvement.

But I'm already starting to see the same justifications being used to bomb the cities, as was used in Syria.

> But as you've probably seen from all the 'prisoners of war' videos out of Ukraine, most soldiers don't want to fight this war.

You should not believe them. They might be just lying.

I can't transfer domains to another domain registrar because I have to pay "Transfer Fee". I can't do this because the payment through my Russian cards does not go through. Now I need to go to the Russian domain registrar and pay them to transfer domains from NameCheap.

Are you following a law or just arbitrarily and unilaterally deciding to do this? I am not Russian myself but I expect a domain name provider to be extremely neutral, unopinionated, and stable. Namecheap is showing to be neither so it can’t be trusted for important domains.

Could you clarify what exactly is a "user registered in Russia" that you are banning? I left the country (because of the government), and now have american billing info in my account, but I still got the termination email.

Hi! I'm in the same boat, I left Russia 5 years ago and now I live in the US and all my billing/account addresses are also registered in the US. I'm confused as to why I got the termination email.

You'll be fine, please contact us and we'll get you whitelisted. Point here if any confusion with our support team.

There are multiple sanctions, affecting government-related personalities and state companies. Why did you decide to make a ban for the total nation despite on their location, occupation and not same black list of government-related targets?

They are a private corporation who is able to choose who to do business with, including blacklisting a full nation.

They also have what sounds like a sizeable workforce in Ukraine itself, so it should be pretty obvious why they chose to blacklist the entire nation invading their direct coworkers'.

If their customers are US persons it's not that simple, because national origin is a protected status.

Some US citizens with Russian heritage could have Russian addresses listed like 10 years ago.

Would be funny to see this case in court.

It doesn't work that way. Discrimination doesn't follow the transitive property. To discriminate illegally you have to discriminate for an illegal reason. Discriminating for a legal reason while that person also belongs to a protected class is not illegal.

What’s the legal reason here though? That’s a genuine question, I don’t know much about US law.

Given the context of this thread and the current war, I think it's pretty clear Namecheap is turning away customers in Russia's jurisdiction because they don't want to support the Russian regime through taxes. The fact that the people who live under that regime are mostly Russians is tangential.

It's just like how Walmart.com doesn't ship to China. That's legal. And if I'm in the US, and I put a Chinese address on my Walmart.com account, and they don't ship me a package, that's not discrimination, that's just a mistake.

Now, if Namecheap starts intentionally going after people of Russian origin outside of Russia, that's a different story, but it doesn't look like that's what's happening here.

It seems like they're banning people who simply have a background in that country.

There are a few words for that philosophy, and legality of that business practice becomes questionable.

Tax dollars fund that very government whether directly or indirectly. If you have a property this is anti regime or to that effect. We will consider white listng you.

I hope you also go forward and ban German domains as their gas payments are still funding Russia.

Agree, This is some Orwell Hate Week stuff.

Doesn't every domain name service pay taxes? (including what these users will switch to?) I don't see how taxes are relevant.

"Tax dollar"... I don't want to diverge the discussion, but that's the very same reason I've been avoiding "Made in China" products (as much as I can) for several years now.

I'll be migrating my small account of about 15 domains away from Namecheap due to this. I have Russian friends that I respect and hate to see negative action taken against them due to the unfortunate and despicable actions of their government.

As a long time Namecheap user, I support your decision.

To everyone complaining, have you first tried to contact support and explained your situation? It's clear that Namecheap will talk to you to understand your situation and help where it can. It's also one of the reasons why I switched to them many years back. Not every company hides behind their nameless, automated robots.

> To everyone complaining, have you first tried to contact support and explained your situation?

Spending hours writing emails back and forth in my non-native language is not exactly my top priority at the moment, as you may guess because of recent events.

The email is very clear: I have to move regardless of my views or opinions, or else. ToS is very standard as well: service may be interrupted at any moment with no guarantees, all discussion is to happen in US courts.

I see no basis for a support ticket.

Besides, would you really want to stay after something like this?

Maybe as an individual I could see supporting them, but as someone who works in the corporate world and actually needs to rely on services like this, I wouldn’t risk doing business with a company that might change their TOS at the drop of a hat because of the political views of their CEO or some geopolitical event.

> because of the political views of their CEO or some geopolitical event

Outside of the unprovoked war, there are a few very novel things going on: Putin threatening a nuclear 1st strike, EU banning Russian aircraft and naval vessels, disconnecting Russia from SWIFT, major companies divesting their Russian assets, Russia banning foreign current withdrawals, Germany massively boosting their defense funds, EU nations openly donating weapons to fight the Russian invasion, Russian stock market refusing to open, Russia banned from the World Cup and other sporting events, etc.

There are some major, major world events happening. It’s gonna get a little bumpy.

This announcement seems like one of the least surprising or least world-changing events of the last 96 hours.

And with all of the sanctions against the financial connections to Russia, it seems like there will probably be lots of complications in even doing business with Russians. Purely from a business standpoint I can understand cutting off the market if you think they're unlikely to be able to pay easily, and then the idea that a predominantly Ukrainian company would be expected to put up with this is ridiculous.

Children getting targeted by cruise missiles is not a "hat dropping". My work depends, in no small part, on _not_ living in a world where that happens as a matter of course. My respect for this company just increased substantially.

So completely agreed.

And my outrage is also in sync with yours as long as we are talking about children in the white little backyard of Europe. Other places? Other war crimes? For that we’ll outrage on Reddit. Join us.

Here you go, you find yours https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque or head to “Ad hominem” if you’d need a longer list to pick from.

> I wouldn’t risk doing business with a company that might change their TOS at the drop of a hat because of the political views of their CEO or some geopolitical event.

So, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Delta Airlines or any of the other myriad of businesses, large and small, that have taken action affecting business partners or customers without or in advance of government mandates? Well, I mean, good for you that you will restrict your business to such a small pool of suppliers/partners, but good luck competing with those that don't.

>because of the political views of their CEO or some geopolitical event

If America were at this moment dropping paratroopers into Canadian cities and trying to hunt down the Canadian government, and 70% of the Namecheap workforce lived in Canada, would you still consider that just a 'political view' on 'some geopolitical event' or something more consequential and relevant to the company?

"at the drop of a hat" - I think you mean "at the drop of a bomb"

Seems like not a great time for their chat support to be down for maintenance.

Incidentally I am in the process of transferring a domain to namecheap today.

you're providing 5 days to change registrars and 0 days to change hosts to people who are currently waiting in line for hours at banks to attempt to access their own funds.

I'm a US citizen, so roughly half of my gross income goes to support US war crimes. It seems like I should move off of Namecheap now to avoid disruption to my service in the event that you ever grow a spine.

> I'm a US citizen, so roughly half of my gross income goes to support US war crimes

That's unlikely, cf. https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/where-do-our-fe....

> We have people on the ground in Ukraine being bombarded now non stop. I cannot with good conscience continue to support the Russian regime in any way, shape or form.

What about the American regime currently bombing Somalia?

Or the Saudi regime currently bombing Yemen?

Or the Israeli regime currently bombing Syria?

Or the ... regime currently bombing ...? You get the point, surely.

Why the selective enforcement against just this one particular regime?

They also fail to acknowledge the thousands deaths on both sides since 2014 until today, since the coup and introduction of Maidan snipers to kill the innocent. To name a concrete example, you can freely consult the magnitude of the casualties related to the Donbas-related conflict alone (some 13,000-14,000 lives since April 2014). Part of the staff is Ukrainian...they ought to know.

Why today? Perhaps the answer lies in the field of sociology or psychology.

As pointed out by others before me, this mainly pushes affected customers to transfer domains to Russia-based providers, increasing their profits (a little) and sphere of control (a little more).

...But it makes them feel better?

Namecheap employs 834 Ukrainians, about 73% of their total workforce. The families of their employees are probably dying. Ukraine and Russia are in a state of war.

It's irrelevant what previously occurred by other governments.

> It's irrelevant what previously occurred by other governments.

All of the bombardments I mentioned happened on the same exact days as the bombardments in Ukraine. And how you can dismiss the killing of people in other countries as 'irrelevant' is astonishing.

That statement and answer was specific to:

> Why the selective enforcement against just this one particular regime?

Providing the plausible reason why there was selective enforcement for that one particular regime, and thus the irrelevancy of what previously occurred by other governments.

Your next, perhaps still valid question, is why they aren't continuing to apply this policy to your other cited circumstances.

Did they hire them because salary is much less expansive than in the US?

I don't know the answer to that question, but does that no longer make them human and the leader of the organization of which they are employed should not be emphatic to their situation?

The people you list aren't white enough for westerners to care. That's what it is, that's all there is to it.

This is disgusting. You are punishing innocent people for the decisions of their government. Do you even realize that your behavior does not help your own cause? Do you realize that innocent Russian people banned from your platform will be encouraged to further hate the United States and support their government's war effort?

I have been a (US, before you accuse me of being Russian like you have done elsewhere in the thread) Namecheap customer for years, and have urged at least a dozen others to use your service. I won't be doing that in the future, your responses in this thread have killed any trust and goodwill I had for your service.

>"There are plenty of other choices out there when it comes to infrastructure services so this isn't "deplatforming"."

This is still 'de-platforming', even though there are alternatives. There are alternatives to every service that has 'de-platformed' people, but it doesn't change what you're doing.

Well actually lets take youtube. Being removed from youtube doesn't keep you from being heard at all by people willing to directly seek you out but it does directly keep your content being organically exposed to youtube users potentially greatly decreasing your actual exposure.

Unlike youtube domain registration is fungible. Moving from namecheap to <insert registrar> means your computer is silently switched from talking to foo vs bar with no apparent difference to the end user.

It only becomes and effective means of deplatforming if your registrar doesn't allow you to transfer your domain or you literally can't find a registrar who will accept you.

Or if you get kicked out from the service you paid upfront for and not being able to pay the other registrars because outside payments are blocked.

It's almost seven years since Saudi Arabia started the war against Yemen [1] They are still attacking Yemen and they commit atrocities.

Could you please consider a Saudi Arabia Service Termination?

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian%E2%80%93led_inte...

I know you're getting a ton of negative reactions here, which is always what happens when a protest or sanction inconveniences someone.

I just wanted to voice that I think this is a moral decision and though I am happy with my current registrar, I am going to consider switching to Namecheap, or at least using you guys next time I register a new domain.

> which is always what happens when a protest or sanction inconveniences someone

Not at all. It’s this particular message and phrasing that rubs me entirely the wrong way.

As well as all the people here that claim Russians should have done more to stop this.

I love Russian people and culture - to the point that I even learned how to read Cyrillic (which I've unfortunately had a lot of practice at in the last few days). So I don't want to see Russians get hurt, but think about it this way: What would you want Germans to do in the 1930s? What if they said "it rubs me the wrong way when people say I should do more to stop the NSDAP"? I sympathize, but when you're a piece of a system that threatens the entire world, it rings a little hollow to say "what am I supposed to do?". I can't believe the people that captured the largest landmass on the planet under their control are really all that helpless. Russian Serfdom was abolished in the 1800s. So if you, or a 1930s German is asking "what am I supposed to do?" the answer is "everything".

And I'll jump in front of the "But the U.S. is bad, too. Why don't you stop what you're doing and overthrow the U.S.?": You can't point to anything since the bombing of Dresden/Nagasaki where the U.S. military was intentionally inflicting mass civilian casualties with advanced weaponry the way Russia is in Ukraine right now. Not Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, etc. 0 land annexed since WW2, 0 threats against our neighbors, even though we have the most powerful military on earth. Even under Trump: 0 wars started, despite his belligerence. And Dresden/Nagasaki happened under duress. Ukraine posed no threat to Russia in any way, shape or form.

“Everything” is not an answer, it’s refusing to think of an answer. Please, try to actually think about what can a Russian person do to overthrow the government.

Oh, and let me give you some prerequisites:

1. You can’t use mass media to spread your message. Independent mass media are banned. There’re some leftover newspapers like Meduza and Novaya, but they’re niche and can be easily banned too.

2. Firearms are banned and it’s expensive to acquire one illegally. While rich person probably could arm, like, 10 people, it’s impossible to raise an army without massive funding.

3. You can’t rely on international organizations. When Navalny was jailed, Council of Europe had done precisely nothing to enforce ECHR decision to free him.

4. You can’t have visible leaders of opposition, because they would be murdered (like Nemtsov), jailed (like Navalny) or forced to leave the country (like Sobol).

5. 2% of the country population is serving in some kind of armed forces or law enforcement. They’re well paid, receive huge benefits and are ready to detain, torture and kill protestors. There’s a National Guard (340k people) which specifically exists for that purpose.

6. Elections are not working. They’re rigged, and opposition forces are banned from participating in them anyway. Every big party publicly supports war.

7. Mass protests on the scale of 100-200k don’t achieve anything. We don’t know if bigger protests would have any effect, but given [1] and [4] it’s unclear how to organize them. Protesting is illegal. Mass protests usefulness to influence the public opinion is limited, because media consistently underreports amount of people present.

Given that set of constraints: what would you do? I’m actually interested in your reply. If you think you would do better if you were Russian, what that “better” is?

Honestly, I don't exactly know. But I do know the same was true for most of these people, so I might start there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Germans_who_resisted_N...

I know that seems glib, but it's not. Unlike a lot of others in the West, I recognize and feel how cruel it is that when the world is in these situations it always seems to be the Russian commoners who we ask to make the biggest sacrifices. I recognized this even when I was a kid in U.S. school being taught the "narrative" of U.S. sailing across the oceans to make huge sacrifices to save the world... I know the West owes Russia a lot, and that's not something we like to talk about because it makes us uncomfortable. I ascribe to the theory that since the end of the Renaissance, "how good things are in the world at large" is tightly correlated with "how good things are for Russian serfs/commoners" and one of the most efficient ways to achieve the former is to improve the latter. So I'm not entirely callous to how hard it is and in the end I want Russia and her people to prosper....

But: We're in a crap situation right now and Russia put us here. Russia is a nation of people and those people can't enjoy the privileges of the Global Economy and Technological Revolutions while the nation they constitute tries to burn that world down. That's a tough pill to swallow.. we tend to get used to the things around us and treat them as "owed to us": The internet, thriving economies, banks... but it's not. You can lose it all, and so can the entire world.

So here we are in Stalingrad again. I'm sorry we put you here, disarmed in front of a maniac's henchmen cutting their way through innocent people's lives. I'll admit: I didn't do enough to pay attention to Navalny... we had our own mission and our own madman we had to stop. But here we are playing Shostakovich again and asking Russians to charge into the rubble and attack the enemies of civilization again with their whatever rocks or weapons they can pick up along the way.

So I'm not going to ask you to do anything, I guess. If you want to sit and rock back and forth with your head in your hands because it seems hopeless, I can't blame you. I don't know that I would be capable of doing anything different in your situation, to be perfectly honest.

но я не русский

Yes, and there’re groups that resists Putin’s government in Russia, and it doesn’t stop Putin any more than White Rose stopped Hitler.

And while we’re fighting an uphill war, world does everything to help Putin.

World buys Russian oil and gas, so Putin has money.

World don’t enforce international treaties, so Putin can jail anyone even if ECHR said no.

And now world stop selling goods and services to Russians, so

1. Money stays in Russia

2. Putin gets to claim “the West hates you” in propaganda and it sounds very plausible

3. The opposition has additional problems, so less time to do something useful

Isolation helps tyranicall regimes, not hinders them! NameCheap (and now many more companies) are literally helping Putin to stay in power. Taking resources from Russian people doesn’t “motivate us to revolt”, it takes resources to revolt from us.

I hope you take this same stance against USA and their drone strikes of civilians. I don't see how any good company can anyway work with those people either.

also, we've preemptively invaded two countries (UN war crimes also) and our oligarchs get to keep their mansions and yachts and none of them will ever see the inside of a prison cell. we should absolutely condemn Putin, but I wish we'd also lock up our own war criminals.

afghanistan was a justified invasion

I do remember seeing the Afghan submarines off the east coast of Florida. Thank god we got there in time to put a stop to it. Remember when we intercepted their intercontinental missiles that they launched from Kabul towards Houston?

Donating all income from Russian users to the Ukrainian war efforts or refugee relief efforts would have seemed like a much more satisfying (and effective!) way to go about this.

This is the path my company has chosen.

> There are plenty of other choices out there when it comes to infrastructure services so this isn't "deplatforming".

Come on, you are clearly harassing them pointlessly. And you are doing that over something they don't have much of a choice about.

> We have people on the ground in Ukraine being bombarded now non stop.

That is sad and abhorrent, but this kind of moral posturing and superficial puritanism is both ineffective and hypocritical. I am pretty sure you are aware that some of your own tax dollars also go towards bombing people.

I will not register any domains with you guys in the future.

This is wrong. While I support all of the sanctions against Russia on a national level, individual companies should not be able to make such decisions based simply on politics.

I agree with you politically in this case. But that's just a pure coincidence. Next time, we might be on opposite sides of politics. When I select a registrar, I don't want to have to take into account the arbitrary politics of the management, because they won't always agree with me. Even inside your company, the next CEO, or the previous CEO, or your co-workers, will always not agree with your political views.

Besides, you can see that your approach often harms the wrong people. One guy in the comments below is a Russian who has been working to oppose Putin's regime for years, and now you're actually hurting his work in Russia. You responded by allowing exceptions to your policy. Are you ready to review tens of thousands of applications for exceptions on a case by case basis?

This is a dangerous precedent and you should be better than this.

> tax dollars

First of all, tax rubles.

Second of all, tax rubles of your customers are negligible compared to oil money. The basic scheme of Russia is that the guards are paid the first cut of oil money. Removing even more options from the general population, and reducing their contact with the West, just makes them weaker compared to the guards. Thanks.

You may think that there is an absolute answer to this situation, but there isn't. I recommend that you study commentators and scholars such as: John Mearsheimer, Zbigniew Brezinski, George Friedman, Peter Zeihan, Noam Chomsky, Peter Hitchens, Gonzalo Lira, Tim Marshall, Robert D Kaplan, etc., etc. to gain some insight into the other and more complex side of this story.

I am a proud American -- but, I am convinced that my country started this entire episode and planned to have it be so for a long, long time. 9/11, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, etc. just got in their way. Instead of drawing a rational meet-me-in-the-middle red-line with Russia (ex: Poland and the Baltics) that we could live with, we decided to take Ukraine for this ride. We did that. We encouraged Zelensky to talk about acquiring nukes, grabbing Crimea back, grabbing Luhansk and Donestk, joining NATO and the EU, etc. -- instead of encouraging Austria-like neutrality, we promoted our-way-or-the-highway.

And now what are we doing? Fighting to the last Ukrainian? Fighting until they lose even more in a country that has lost ~20% of its population from its peak? We are literally sacrificing their country and encouraging suicide. This. is. just. wrong!

Just to be clear, this is definitionally "deplatforming". Having "plenty of other choices" doesn't change that. There are always other choices.

BS no shoes, no shirt, no service. Ever heard about that? If we were a monopoly, fine, there are plenty of other services out there. Over 1000 registrars including several in Russia.

While I don't have an opinion about your decision to terminate service to Russia (I'm not Russian, I'm not a customer, and I can see how having such a heavy presence in Ukraine could influence the decision), a lot of your comments in this thread directed toward previous customers are very dismissive. I feel like you could have taken the high ground here simply by reining in your attitude.

Refusing a service from the get go is different than pulling the rug out from your existing customers. Why not just stop new Russian domains and require people transfer their domains when they expire?

This was a slogan used to discriminate against people in the hippy movement, interesting to see that you support it. And yeah, it was a slogan used for deplatforming so the user that you are responded to is correct, monopoly or not does not matter.

But yeah, waiting for you to stop services in the US. Going to move my domains as well (despite not living in Russia) and advocate to everyone who I know to do the same.