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YouTube closes Duma account, Moscow promises retaliation

RUSSIA – Russia promised retaliation on Saturday, April 9 after the account was closed Youtube of the lower house of the Russian parliament, eliminating the possibility of a deadlock in Russia from the video platform of the American giant google

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin claimed that blocking “Douma-TV” was a Washington measure that violated “the rights” of 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 this Saturday. According to Google, the channel has been shut down due to recent sanctions announced by the US government.

Violation of the Terms of Service

“Google is committed to complying with all applicable sanctions and trade laws. If an account violates our terms of use, we will take appropriate action,” a group spokesperson said in a statement 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 has signed its own conviction,” Russian diplomacy spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram, calling for the “quick” transfer of YouTube content to Russian video platforms.

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 of “terrorist” activities in March, foreshadowing a possible blocking of the site in Russia, such as Twitter, Instagram and several other independent media outlets since the offensive in Ukraine.

Rutube, YouTube’s competitor in Russia

Russian authorities have stepped up their pressure and legal arsenal to control communications about the conflict in Russia, threatening up to 15 years in prison for spreading “false information” about the Russian military.

Roskomnadzor on Thursday banned Google from advertising its services in Russia after he accused YouTube of spreading “false information” about 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 the imprisoned adversary Alexei Navalnybroadcasting there countless investigations, seen tens of millions of times, on the corruption of the Russian elites.

As early as 2006, Moscow launched a competing video service, Rutube, without much success. But the CEO assured Interfax Friday that he had seen a “colossal” increase in the number of videos uploaded to the platform recently.

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