Report: Russian World Of Tanks Players Could Go To Jail For Buying Ukraine Charity Content [UPDATED]

A new report claims that Russian World of Tanks players could go to jail if they buy DLC that supports Ukraine.

Published: October 19, 2023 8:45 AM /


The sunflower, Ukraine's national flower, on the side of a tank in World of Tanks

Update: Wargaming has reached out to clarify that it doesn't accept any payments from the Russian Federation due to the fact that it ceased business operations in the region on March 31, 2022.

On top of that, the company stressed that it is in no way raising money for military purposes. As mentioned below, the funds will be dedicated to the purchase of specialized C Type ambulances to care for the civilian casualties of the war.

You can read the original article below.

A new report has emerged that alleges that Russian World of Tanks players risk jail time if they buy new Ukraine-themed content introduced to the game yesterday.

Wargaming United is a new initiative that allows World of Tanks players, as well as those playing other Wargaming titles, to support Ukraine by buying DLC-themed around the country's symbols and colors.

However, according to ex-diplomat Dmitry Grozoubinski on X, Russian players could risk a hefty jail sentence if they buy this content.

A World of Tanks tank with the Ukrainian mascot dog Patron on the side
Russian World of Tanks players could be in big trouble for buying new Ukraine-supporting content in the game.

Citing a post shared by Ukrainian news editor Romeo Kokriatski (with translation work by Grozoubinski himself), Grozoubinski says that buying Wargaming United's Ukraine packs "could be interpreted as financing the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine)".

This, according to Kokriatski and Grozoubinski's translation, would constitute "national betrayal", a crime punishable by a 12 to a 20-year prison sentence.

That sentence could be increased to life if the judge believes the crime is grave enough, Grozoubinski clarifies in a follow-up post.

It's also worth noting that, although Grozoubinski and Kokriatski don't cite other Wargaming titles, it's likely that if one could indeed be charged with a crime for buying Ukraine content in World of Tanks, the same is presumably true of World of Warships and other Wargaming games.

Rather amusingly, Grozoubinski subsequently uses a Pokemon-themed analogy to explain the situation further.

He says World of Tanks "turn[ing] on Russia" is like "if Japan invaded Korea and Pikachu signed up to defend Seoul". Ouch.

It's worth remembering that all of this is based on Grozoubinski's translation of Kokriatski's story, and that we can't independently verify whether or not it's possible for Russian World of Tanks players to be charged with the crime in question.

Still, given Russia's punishing laws and adversarial stance on everything from perceived dissidence to LGBT issues, it would make sense if this was indeed the case.

Stay tuned for more on all things regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the world of gaming.

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