News / Europe

    Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

    Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, surrounded by police officers, leaves a court after being sentenced to seven days in prison for participating in an anti-government protest in Moscow, Feb. 25, 2014.
    Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, surrounded by police officers, leaves a court after being sentenced to seven days in prison for participating in an anti-government protest in Moscow, Feb. 25, 2014.
    VOA News
    In what appears to be another move designed to stifle dissent online, Russia's federal regulator announced on Thursday that it had blocked access to the Internet sites of Kremlin critics.

    The list from Roskomnadzor included independent pro-opposition news sites, the website of opposition leader Garry Kasparov, and the blog of popular anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny.

    "The prosecutor general's office ordered Russian Internet providers to restrict access to these Internet resources," Roskomnadzor said.
    Roskomnadzor said Navalny's blog violated the conditions of house arrest recently imposed on the opposition leader, who is serving a five-year suspended sentence on a theft conviction, which he claims was engineered by the Kremlin.
     
    The other three sites were ordered blocked because they "contain calls for illegal activity and participation in mass events conducted in violation of the established order," the regulator said.
     
    Nikolai Rudensky, deputy chief editor of one of the opposition sites, told VOA's Russian service that editors have no exact information as to why the website is blocked.
     
    Another blocked site editor, Alexander Ryklin, called the blacklisting of his website "monstrous" and a "direct violation of all the principles of freedom of speech," radio station Ekho Moskvy reported.

    Ryklin said he did not know why the site was blocked.
     
    The moves came a day after the editor of independent news site Lenta.ru was dismissed after it received a warning about publication of remarks by a Ukrainian far-right leader in what dozens of its staff members alleged was Kremlin censorship.

    Ten days ago, Roskomnadzor acted on the order of the general prosecutor's office, and blocked 13 Internet pages linked to "the activity of Ukrainian nationalist groups."
     
    Online activists and journalists are increasingly concerned that the Russian leadership is seeking to broaden Internet censorship and tighten control over Russian society as Russia faces off against the United States and European Union in a bitter dispute over the future of Ukraine.
     
    "This is the latest political decision taken as part of the cleansing of the media space," Navalny's spokeswoman Anna Veduta said on Twitter.
     
    The Kremlin denies allegations of censorship or pressure on the media, but media watchdog organizations disagree.

    A report by Reporters Without Borders published March 12, the World Day against Cyber Censorship, condemned Russia, calling it one of the "enemies of the Internet."

    Russia, the report says, has adopted dangerous legislation governing the flow of news and information and freedom of expression online.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    March 13, 2014 8:52 PM
    Putin should not be allowed entry to any nations. Restrictions MUST be put in place.
    In Response

    by: Reply
    March 15, 2014 9:21 AM
    You have no brain!

    by: Anonymous
    March 13, 2014 8:51 PM
    Time for the world to halt ALL economic ties to Russia.
    There must be a new source of energy not reliant on "Putin" whatsoever. Perhaps an Interpol warrant for the invasion of Crimea would be nice too.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora