Russian Federation threatens to block YouTube, Instagram

Russian Federation threatens to block YouTube, Instagram

Russian Federation threatens to block YouTube, Instagram

YouTube could soon be blocked in Russian Federation because of videos about a billionaire linked to Paul Manafort, an social media-savvy model and a government minister close to Vladimir Putin.

Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications) is the Russian internet watchdog with close ties to the country's FSB intelligence services.

Footage of the billionaire sailing on a yacht with deputy prime minister Sergei Prikhodko, where it is claimed bribes were exchanged, is now online.

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The meeting was revealed after the activist tracked social media posts of a woman who was on the boat and posted images of the two men together.

The Guardian writes that Navalny claims Deripaska "was briefing Prikhodko on information on the 2016 USA presidential campaign that he had received from Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager", although he offers no proof of this.

Internet service providers in Russian Federation have begun blocking access to opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's website following an order from the country's communications regulator, according to news reports and social-media posts by Navalny and others.

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The video shows Deripaska, the wealthiest man in Russia, meeting with Sergei Prikhodo, a Russian deputy prime minister, aboard a luxury yacht off the coast of Norway.

Billionaire Alisher Usmanov took to YouTube past year to post his own video responses to Navalny's allegations that he donated real estate to a fund benefiting Medvedev, calling the anti-corruption campaigner a "loser" and saying "I spit on you". YouTube and Twitter were previously found to be in the crosshairs of the Russian government, but nothing immediately came of the threat.

Navalny has called for a boycott of Russia's March 18 presidential election after he was barred from running over a criminal conviction he says is politically motivated.

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Navalny's team, which has published previous investigations about the vast real estate holdings of Russian government employees with relatively low salaries, said that YouTube had asked them to take down a video about the yacht affair. It said that the material "has been deleted" from Instagram.

The next day, Mr Deripaska obtained a court order demanding the removal of 14 Instagram posts and seven YouTube clips.

A February 14 deadline that Navalny said was set by Roskomnadzor passed without incident, but reports that was inaccessible for many in Russian Federation began flowing in on February 15. The context here is that Navalny is a member of the political opposition to the Russian government and his posts on this topic have as much to do with accusations of an improper relationship between the billionaire and the Deputy Prime Minister as it does of sordid relationships with escorts.

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