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Apple latest major company to shun Russia

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STORY: Apple said it has stopped sales of iPhones and other products in Russia, joining a growing list of major U.S. companies who are shunning the country after President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine.

Fellow tech giant Google dropped Russian state publishers from its news, Ford told its Russian manufacturing partner it was suspending operations in the country, and Harley-Davidson halted its business in Russia and stopped all shipments of bikes there.

And earlier on Tuesday, the world's biggest shipping lines, Swiss-based MSC and Denmark’s Maersk, suspended container shipping to and from Russia, deepening the country's isolation.

The moves mean that Russia - supplier of one-sixth of all commodities - is now effectively cut off from a large chunk of the globe's shipping capacity.

The steady drum beat of companies taking a stance against Russia increased during the day as rockets struck major cities in Ukraine.

Nike also made merchandise purchases on its website and app unavailable in the country as it said it cannot guarantee delivery of goods.

The global reaction has turned Russia in a matter of weeks into to a financial pariah - with a central bank hamstrung by sanctions, major banks shut out of the international payments system and capital controls choking off money flows.

Hollywood, too, is joining the Russia rejection – with Paramount Pictures on Tuesday the latest studio to announce it is halting all film distribution in the country.