Russia Threatens YouTube, Instagram Over Videos Of Kremlin Official And Oligarch

Herbert Rhodes
February 16, 2018

Russia's media watchdog on Thursday (Feb 15) blocked the website of opposition leader Alexei Navalny after he posted a video alleging a deputy prime minister enjoyed lavish hospitality from a billionaire tycoon. "The site could still be opened through some of the network providers, but it's a matter of time", Navalny wrote on Telegram.

Instagram complied with the order and removed the posts used by Navalny that had not yet been deleted by the woman, who calls herself Nastya Rybka, the Vedomosti business daily reported Thursday. Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor then blacklisted the materials.

Navalny's allegations "should have been answered in a manly way, but we'll stay within the law", Prikhodko said, the RBC newspaper reported on Feb 9.

Deripaska has been linked to President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has been indicted in US special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election. The anti-Kremlin campaigner has been banned from running against Vladimir Putin in March's presidential election.

Instagram photos were also among those that the watchdog wanted to block, though Rybka, whose pseudonym means "fish", appears to have deleted the original images of Deripaska from her account.

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

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Instagram and YouTube may be blocked in Russian Federation unless they remove videos allegedly showing the Deputy Prime Minister meeting an oligarch with links to Donald Trump's presidential campaign on a luxury yacht.

He also obtained a court order demanding the removal of 14 Instagram posts and seven YouTube clips, and Roskomnadzor based its demand for the deletion of the materials on that order. He tweeted that both sites were up and running in Russian Federation, but could be shut down Wednesday night.

"Roskomnadzor has ordered telecommunications service providers to limit access to the webpages at, mentioned in the ruling issued by the Krasnodar region's Ust-Labinsky District Court".

Navalny's producer Oxana Baulina said they have received a warning from YouTube and Google Russia offices ordering them to remove Navalny's video-investigation.

An unnamed representative for Deripaska told the Interfax news agency on February 10 that the businessman was filing a lawsuit against Rybka and a Belarus-born man who goes by the name Alex Lesley for posting details of his private life on social media. "More interestingly the investigation exposes a potential secret communication channel linking President Trump's campaign-Paul Manafort- Oleg Deripaska-and the Russian government", said Roman Borisovich, the supervisory board member of the Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation, in an email to Fast Company.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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