Our Threat Analysis Group has been focusing on the safety and security of our users in Ukraine and the surrounding region, to help them access and share important information. TAG has observed activity from a range of threat actors, including FancyBear and Ghostwriter, that they regularly monitor and that are well-known to law enforcement. Earlier this week, we shared more information about these threats, to help raise awareness among the security community and high risk users.
We have all seen the pictures of the unfolding humanitarian and refugee disaster in Ukraine. To help the increasing number of refugees in the region, we are developing ways for businesses to flag if they are providing services to refugees. Beginning today, hotel owners in countries neighboring Ukraine can indicate on their Business Profile whether they’re offering free or discounted accommodations for refugees. And local businesses can post to their Business Profile on Search and Maps to offer various services and aid to refugees from Ukraine. As we compile this information over the coming weeks, we’ll make it possible for people to quickly find these places on Search and Maps…As part of our increased investment in Poland, we announced that we will be using Google’s spaces and resources to support those affected by the war, including by using the Google for Startups Campus in Warsaw as a space where local NGOs can provide legal and psychological support to refugees. That builds on our $10 million commitment to local organizations helping refugees who arrive into Poland, and our support for NGOs doing this crucial work in Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.
Tragically, millions of people in Ukraine now rely on air strike alerts to try to get to safety. At the request, and with the help, of the government of Ukraine, we’ve started rolling out a rapid Air Raid Alerts system for Android phones in Ukraine. This work is supplemental to the country’s existing air raid alert systems, and based on alerts already being delivered by the Ukrainian government.
We continue our work to significantly limit recommendations globally for a number of Russian state-funded media outlets across our platforms. In Europe, we are removing apps from Russian state-funded media beyond RT and Sputnik from Google Play. And as stipulated by the EU’s Council Regulation (EU) 2022/350, we have removed RT and Sputnik from our Search results in the European Union. As part of our standard process when we receive a notice of illegal content appearing in Search results, and to provide transparency into such requests, we submitted the request to the Lumen database.
Following our announcement last week that we paused Google ads in Russia, we’ve now paused the vast majority of our commercial activities in Russia – including ads on our properties and networks globally for all Russian-based advertisers, new Cloud sign ups, the payments functionality for most of our services, and monetization features for YouTube viewers in Russia. We can confirm that our free services such as Search, Gmail and YouTube are still operating in Russia. We will continue to closely monitor developments.