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YouTube blocks channels belonging to the Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’

Source: Meduza

YouTube has blocked several channels run by the de facto authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR). All of the accounts were “terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.” 

Among the blocked accounts are:

  • The channel of the DNR’s information ministry;
  • The channel of the DNR people’s militia;
  • The channel of the LNR’s state television and radio broadcasting company;
  • The channel of the Luhansk information center.

In a statement released on Friday, February 4, the Luhansk information center claimed that the YouTube account of the LNR people’s militia had been blocked, as well. However, at the time of this writing, it remains accessible. The de facto authorities also reported that Facebook had blocked the page of the LNR people’s militia. 

Also on Friday, YouTube terminated the accounts of the Ukrainian television channels Pershiy Nezalezhniy (“First Independent”) and UkrLive for violating the platform’s guidelines. These channels were created in 2021 and are staffed by journalists from 112, NewsOne, ZIK — three television channels that were shutdown after the Ukrainian authorities imposed sanctions on their owner, pro-Russian lawmaker Taras Kozak.

Ukraine has been at war with the Russian-backed separatist forces in the DNR and LNR since 2014. Since the fall of 2021, Western countries have warned of a possible escalation of the conflict as Russia has massed upwards of 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine and in Belarus. The buildup has led to a sharp increase in international tensions, as Western countries fear that Moscow is planning to launch a full-scale attack on Ukraine. Russian officials deny the accusations, claiming the troop movements are part of military drills.

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