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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid