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Visa and Mastercard, the world's two largest credit and debit card providers and payment processors, will suspend their operations in Russia after the country invaded Ukraine.

"Effective immediately, Visa will work with its customers and partners in Russia to finalize all Visa transactions in the coming days," Visa said in a statement.

"Once completed, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and all Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation."

growing list

Citing discussions with employees, governments and partners, as well as global sanctions, Mastercard issued a similar statement, noting that all Mastercard services will cease in Russia effective immediately.

"We do not make this decision lightly," Mastercard said. “Mastercard has been operating in Russia for more than 25 years. We have close to 200 colleagues there who make this business so essential to so many stakeholders."

The list of companies leaving their Russian operations is growing daily and includes Apple, Google, Snap, Facebook, Twitter, Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, TikTok, Netflix and Microsoft.

The global community, with a few notable exceptions, has taken steps to condemn Russia, disconnecting the country from the SWIFT international payment gateway, imposing massive sanctions on Russian oligarchs and corporations, and lending support to the Ukrainian government and people.

How the war will play out remains to be seen, but the swift response by Western governments and countries is likely to be devastating for the Russian economy and the Russian people, many of whom no longer have access to basic banking services.

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