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Russian censorship agency blocks news site that refused to delete story about graffiti insulting Putin

Representatives for the Yaroslavl-based news site Yarcube wrote on the site’s Telegram channel that the site has been blocked in Russia. The country’s censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, added the site to its blacklist, the journalists wrote.

Yarcube employees contacted their hosting provider and discovered that the website had become inaccessible because Roskomnadzor disapproved of a news story describing a young man who had attempted suicide. However, the Yaroslavl agency accused Roskomnadzor of “scrambling to find a reason to punish us for our position regarding the story on graffiti about Putin that was left on the walls of the local Internal Affairs Ministry building.”

On April 1, the website posted a news story describing the graffiti, which used an offensive term to describe Russian president Vladimir Putin. Journalists said that Roskomnadzor requested that the story be deleted to comply with Russia’s new law penalizing online expressions of disrespect toward the government. While several other Yaroslavl news sources deleted their versions of the story, Yarcube did not.