Google has warned that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s YouTube channel will be blocked if his team does not remove an excerpt of his graft investigation into billionaire Oleg Deripaska and a senior government figure, The Moscow Times reports.
A court injunction in Deripaska’s native region on the Black Sea coast has ordered the removal of 14 Instagram posts and seven YouTube videos saying they breach his right to privacy, threatening to otherwise block both platforms by Wednesday. Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blacklisted the materials, including Navalny’s website, following the court order.
In compliance with Roskomnadzor’s request, YouTube has threatened Navalny’s camp to "block the content" unless it removed a video mentioning its investigation of Deripaska, according to an email that Navalny’s team shared on Monday.
The Roskomnadzor and YouTube emails single out the video for removal, but not the 25-minute investigation that was published on Navalny’s own YouTube channel and was viewed more than 4 million times.
The anti-Kremlin campaigner has said that the court order threatened to shut down his website after he published an online film alleging a corrupt relationship between Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko.
The order was issued a day after Navalny claimed that Deripaska and Prikhodko discussed state matters on a yacht off the coast of Norway, weeks ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.