Prigozhin asks Prosecutor General to block YouTube in Russia
Businessman and founder of PMC Wagner Evgeny Prigozhin appealed to Russia’s Prosecutor General to limit access to video sharing service YouTube, and to declare Google’s activities in Russia “undesirable.” Prigozhin’s company, Konkord, shared the appeal on its VKontakte page.
“YouTube is full of fakes aimed at discrediting the Russian military, knowingly disseminating untrue information about the activities of the Russian Armed Forces, government authorities and administration, and patriotic forces,” the appeal reads.
The businessman believes that the US is waging an information war on Russia – “for its main destructive weapons it actively uses disinformation and negative attitudes, which it instills with the help of YouTube.” Prigozhin added that YouTube has a “consistent policy of censoring Russian channels” and that it had recently restricted access to the Federation Council’s account.
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In March, in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the service blocked Russian state media channels, including RT, Sputnik, the company Rossiya Sevodnya [Russia Today], and the RBK media group.
In March, RIA Novosti cited sources who claimed that Russia would soon block YouTube, but it didn’t happen. Due to threats of a ban, Google, which owns YouTube, covertly removed some of its employees from the country.
In October, after YouTube blocked the Federation Council’s channels, Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development said there were no plans to block access to YouTube. Alexander Moiseev, CEO of Russian video platform Rutube, said that blocking YouTube would not help the development of Russian video hosting.