YouTube has blocked the channel of FC Akhmat Grozny, a Russian professional soccer club linked to Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov (the club is named after his father, former Chechen leader Akhmat Kadyrov).
The block was reported by RIA Novosti on Friday, January 15. Trying to access the Chechen soccer club’s channel prompts a message saying “this page is not available” and it no longer comes up via the search function.
FC Akhmat Gronzy called the block groundless, adding that it won’t prevent them from informing fans about the club’s activities.
YouTube also blocked the channel of Absolute Championship Akhmat, a mixed martial arts promotion company also linked to Kadyrov.
In December, the United States imposed Magnitsky Act sanctions on a number of individuals and legal entities linked to Ramzan Kadyrov, including the Chechen soccer club FC Akhmat Grozny and Absolute Championship Akhmat, as well as the Akhmat MMA fight club, the company Chechen Mineral Waters, and the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation.
The United States imposes sanctions under the Magnitsky Act on individuals and organizations considered responsible for involvement in human rights violations. Magnitsky Act sanctions were imposed on Ramzan Kadyrov in 2017. In July 2020, Kadyrov and his family were banned from travelling to the United States.