I've lived in Russia for years and got around the lack of availability by paying on my Australian PayPal, but unfortunately, I've just got a new Russian bank card which my Australian PayPal wouldn't accept. I changed my region to Russia and was horrified to see all my podcasts had disappeared, then after a quick google realised they weren't available at all in Russia?!
I see posts going back to 2020 complaining about it, and the answer is licensing or whatever? It was released in Russia over a year ago, and literally every one of your competitors here offers podcasts. How is that they have arranged it, but in a year one of the largest platforms in the world hasn't? On a free account I can listen, but as a paying customer of 5+ years I can't? The Russian podcasts I listen to ask people to leave reviews on Spotify! This is ridiculous!
I'd even be happy to change my region back to Australia and pay 4x the price, but I can't do that either. I move around a lot for work, and this is a deal breaker. I won't be renewing my premium at the end of this month if they don't appear (seems optimistic). The part that really gets me is how I raved about and recommended the platform to my Russian friends before it was released - what a joke.