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Russia May Block Youtube And Instagram

15 February 2018

A dispute between one of Russia's richest businessmen and an opposition leader could mean no access to YouTube and Instagram for the country's citizens.

Meanwhile, the Interfax news agency reported that Roskomnadzor was pressing its demand that U.S. Internet giant Google delete or block access to the videos and photos on YouTube.

Russian internet providers have moved to block the website of opposition leader Alexei Navalny a week after his corruption investigation into a billionaire and a government official went online.

He alleged that Deripaska was feeding Prikhodo information regarding the 2016 United States presidential election.

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Deripaska also has past ties to President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, now indicted by the special counsel investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election campaign.

Navalny's investigation drew from the social media account of a woman who claims to have had an affair with Deripaska.

Also with them is a woman calling herself Nastya Rybka, whose Instagram posts alerted Navalny to the meeting, he says in a video that is still accessible on YouTube.

Navalny also uploaded a photo of the apparent secret meeting to his own Instagram account.

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Instagram on Thursday had removed some of Rybka's posts following Roskomnadzor's request, but a YouTube video of Navalny's investigation that has generated over 5 million views remained available. Navalny has refused to take down the content from either platform.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian media watchdog, warned YouTube to take down seven videos and Instagram to remove 14 posts on Saturday (February 10) within three business days. If a decision is not reached by the end of today (14 February), Russian internet service providers (ISPs) must take action themselves. He also called the threatened blockage "a brazen act of censorship".

Navalny's report caused a potentially embarrassing splash ahead of a March 18 election in which Putin, who has been president or prime minister since 1999, appears certain to win a new six-year term but is said to be hoping for a convincing victory that would strengthen his mandate and further cement his power. But he has been barred from standing against President Putin in next month's election because of a corruption conviction, which he says is politically motivated.

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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"This is a war of our dissemination against their blockage".

Russia May Block Youtube And Instagram