Russia accuses YouTube of blocking the account of “Douma-TV”, the Russian parliamentary channel

Moscow has promised reprisals raising fears of a service blockade in Russia.

Russia promised retaliation on Saturday after the YouTube account of the lower house of the Russian parliament was shut down, raising the possibility of a Russia blocking of US giant Google’s video platform. State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin claimed that blocking “Douma-TV” was a Washington measure that violated “rightsof the Russians. †The United States wants to have a monopoly on the dissemination of information” he launched on his Telegram account.”We cannot allow this.

AFP journalists in Moscow discovered that the account in question was no longer accessible on YouTube on Saturday. According to Google, the channel has been shut down due to recent sanctions announced by the US government. †Google is committed to complying with all applicable sanctions and trade laws. If an account violates our Terms of Service, we will take appropriate actionA spokesperson for the group said in a press release sent to AFP.

According to Moscow, the “Douma-TV” account had more than 145,000 subscribers on YouTube. It broadcast live broadcasts of parliament and interviews with Russian MPs. †YouTube signed its own conviction“Russian diplomacy spokesman Maria Zakharova responded to Telegram and called for the transfer”fast» content from YouTube to Russian video platforms.

Widely used in Russia

In recent weeks, amid the conflict in Ukraine, YouTube has already been accused by Moscow of blocking the accounts of pro-Kremlin media and Russian officials. Russian telecom police officer Roskomnadzor accused Google and YouTube in March of “terrorists“, foreshadowing a possible blocking in Russia of the site such as Twitter, Instagram and several other independent media outlets since the offensive in Ukraine.

The Russian authorities have greatly increased their pressure and legal arsenal to control communications about the conflict in Russia, threatening up to 15 years in prison for disseminating “false informationabout the Russian army. Roskomnadzor on Thursday banned Google from advertising its services in Russia after accusing YouTube of broadcasting “false informationabout Russian troops.

Like in many other countries, YouTube is widely used in Russia, both by ordinary users for entertainment or information, as well as by ministries or institutions to distribute their content.

In particular, the platform is a privileged tool of imprisoned adversary Alexeï Navalny, who has spread tens of millions of views there into the corruption of Russia’s elites. As early as 2006, Moscow launched a competing video service, Rutube, without much success. But the CEO assured Interfax on Friday that he had seen an increase.”colossal» the number of videos uploaded to the platform recently.

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