Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it is scaling down its operations in Russia, which adversely affected more than 400 of its employees who were laid off. This move was followed by an earlier announcement by the company back in March, where it said that it was suspending sales of its new products in the country, as a gesture protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russian news agency TASS began reporting yesterday that users in Russia were unable to download and install Windows 11 from the Microsoft Russia official website. Below, on the left is the original news report from TASS, while on its right, we have its English translated version.
As you can see in the image above, trying to download Windows 11 and 10 leads to a 404 file not found or directory not found error, though the report says that downloading works fine with a change in location via VPN.
As noted by BleepingComputer, when trying to download Windows 11 ISOs in Russia, the following error message pops up:
Interestingly, the Media Creation tool download works fine. However, don't get your hopes up as it too eventually fails, giving off the following error: 0x80072F8F-0x20000. The error is accompanied by a message saying "For some unknown reason, this tool failed to run on your computer."
At the moment, it is unclear if this is also a part of Microsoft's plan to slowly withdraw more of its products or services from Russia or if it's a technical glitch or issue.
If you are someone from Russia and wanted to download Windows 11 or 10, it is possible to do so using a VPN, as mentioned above. According to the Ministry of Digital Development in Russia (via RBC), there is a good chance using VPN to bypass the various restrictions and sanctions will not be punished.