Russia could block YouTube and Instagram after videos of oligarch Oleg Deripaska surface

Russia could block YouTube and Instagram after videos of oligarch Oleg Deripaska surface

Videos have been posted online featuring Oleg Deripaska

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Russia may block both YouTube and Instagram after videos showing oligarch Oleg Deripaska were uploaded to the social media sites.

The country has said it could block the platforms if the images and videos are not removed, according to The New York Times.

Footage of the billionaire sailing on a yacht with deputy prime minister Sergei Prikhodko, where it is claimed bribes were exchanged, is currently online.

A video of the oligarch apparently discussing the relationship between the US and Russia was also published last week by opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The videos, which were originally uploaded in 2016, had been obtained by Navalny after his team searched the social media pages of blogger Anastasia Vashukevich.  

The 21-year-old, who worked as an escort and model, had previously claimed she'd worked on the yacht belonging to Deripaska, as she was employed through a modelling agency, however this was not widely reported until Navalny pushed her story.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian media watchdog, warned YouTube to take down seven videos and Instagram to remove 14 posts on Saturday (February 10) within three business days.

It has also requested that YouTube take down Navalny’s video investigation and his Anti-Corruption Foundation deletes articles about the matter.

If the content is not removed from YouTube and Instagram the services could be blocked in the country, because not all providers of the internet are able to disable separate pages.

Instagram has not yet commented on the matter but an anonymous source from YouTube claims that, whilst it has sent messages to those who uploaded the videos, it has not asked them to remove them.

The source also claims if it does remove the footage itself then it will only do so in Russia.

Roskomnadzor has also asked six Russian news companies to remove content about Deripaska and so far two have done so.