Windows 11 Insider builds are now blocked in Russia

Russia attacked Ukraine about four months ago and the first sanctions were imposed moments later. New ones are being added all the time, most recently Microsoft scrapped the Windows downloads option – now a sort of back door is being closed.

The sanctions against Russia did not immediately turn the people against President Vladimir Putin or even unleash a coup, but that was not to be expected. But the population is feeling it more and more, which means that Microsoft is also restricting access to its software offerings.

Windows 10 and Windows 11 downloads are blocked

Recently in Russia, it has become impossible to download Windows 10 or Windows 11, at least legally. However, there has been a quasi-fix until now, as you could still get a regular version of the operating system through the Windows Insider program. In concrete terms, this meant that an up-to-date and stable version could be obtained, for example via the release preview channel.

But now Microsoft has also closed this loophole: because of how Neowin refers to user reports on Twitter, it is no longer possible to download and install such pre-builds. It’s not entirely clear at this point whether the entire Windows Update functionality is blocked at this point, as the Redmond company has pledged itself not to leave existing customers in the dark when it comes to security. However, Russian users can still get an ISO of Windows 10 or Windows 11: on the one hand, it is certainly possible to download a version via VPN, and on the other hand, almost no Russian citizen loyal to Putin would have some qualms about downloading and installing a pirated copy.