Windows 10 and Windows 11 Downloads Blocked in Russia
People in Russia can no longer download Windows 10 and Windows 11 ISOs and installation tools from Microsoft, with no reason for the block provided by the company.
Russia’s TASS news agency first reported this problem over the weekend, and the news quickly spread on Twitter.
Using a VPN server located in Russia, BleepingComputer has confirmed that attempting to download the Windows 10 Update Assistant, the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, and the Windows 11 Installation Assistant, Russian users are shown a message stating, “404 – File or Directory not found.”
When attempting to download Windows 10 and Windows 11 ISOs, users are shown an error stating, “There was a problem with your request,” as shown below.
Strangely, it is still possible to download the Windows 11 Media Creation Tool but running it ultimately generates a 0x80072F8F-0x20000 error, saying, “For some unknown reason, this tool failed to run on your computer.”
Multiple people physically located in Russia have also confirmed with BleepingComputer that they cannot download Windows media. However, they said that once they connected to a VPN server outside of Russia, they could download the files from Microsoft again.
While Russia has been restricting the use of VPNs in the country, Russia’s Roskomsvoboda reported today that while the government is against the use of VPNs, they will not punish those who use them in the country.
It is unclear at this time if this is a technical mistake or if Microsoft is intentionally blocking downloads. Furthermore, Microsoft had not provided any information to BleepingComputer when we contacted them with questions about the issue.
Microsoft has been increasingly withdrawing services from Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, starting with the suspension of all sales in the country in March.
In April, Microsoft-owned GitHub began suspending developers’ accounts linked to sanctioned companies, even if those users no longer worked at the companies.
This month, Microsoft announced that they were laying off 400 employees in Russia as they began scaling back operations in the country.
However, the company has continued to state that they would continue their contractual obligations with Russian customers, making the blocking of Windows installation media unexpected.
BleepingComputer is awaiting further information from Microsoft and will update this story as more details become available.