In a nutshell: It seems that Microsoft is blocking the download of its popular operating system in Russia, although you can easily bypass this restriction by using a VPN service. It will be interesting to see if this is enough to push users to switch to Linux.

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Users in Russia are currently unable to download Windows 10 and 11 ISOs and installation tools from Microsoft servers. People started first noticing weekend problem.

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If someone with a Russian IP address tries to download the Windows ISO files directly from the Microsoft website, they will receive a message that there is a problem with their request.

Trying to download the Windows Update Assistant Windows Media Creation Toolor Windows 11 Setup Assistant also doesn’t work, users are redirected to a webpage with an error message.

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Some people in Russia have reported that they can download Windows 11 media creation tool. However, startup fails, resulting in error 0x80072F8F-0x20000.

Users claim that using a VPN service gets rid of these error messages, allowing them to download files. Ironically, strict censorship laws in Russia block many VPN providers from working in the country.

Microsoft has yet to issue a statement on this, so it’s not clear if this is just a server bug or a deliberate decision made by the company to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In March, Microsoft stopped all new sales in the country, joining dozens of Western companies taking similar steps. Earlier this month, the company announced wind down your business in Russia, resulting in more than 400 employees being laid off.