Google to be banned in Donetsk by pro-Russian regime for allegedly promoting ‘terrorism’

In a rather strange development linked to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Google will be prohibited in the seized Donetsk area of Ukraine for allegedly promoting “terrorism and violence against all Russians.” Taking to Telegram, the chief of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin said, “The inhuman propaganda of Ukraine and the West have long crossed all boundaries. There is real persecution of Russians, the imposition of lies and disinformation.” 

The official went on to say that the Google search engine, which is at the forefront of information technology in this respect, openly encourages terrorism and bloodshed against all Russians and especially the people of Donbas, on the directives of its “curators from the US government”, citing the Telegram post, The Guardian reported.  

Pushilin further added, “It did not start yesterday. I think that this situation should no longer be put up with. We have decided to block Google on the territory of the DPR. This is what they do in any society with criminals: they are isolated from other people.” 

In addition to this, the chief of the DPR claimed that there won’t be any restrictions on Google’s work if it abandons its illegal strategy and reverts to the norm of the law, morality, and common sense, The Guardian reported.  

However, it is pertinent to note that the only UN members who recognise the DPR as a legitimate government are Russia, Syria, and North Korea. 

Russian court fined Google 21 billion rubles

Apart from this, a Russian court has fined Google 21 billion rubles for refusing to remove content that has been banned in the country. According to a Sputnik report, the penalty imposed on Google is comparable to almost 10% of Google’s Russian revenue. Google has been found “guilty of an administrative offensive” by a Russian judge, who also levied a fine of 21,770,392,317 rubles (Rs 30,45,59,13,804.94), as per media reports. 

The court’s decision was made in response to YouTube footage that Russia claimed contained “extremist materials, propaganda” from prohibited terrorist organisations, instructions for making explosive devices, and false information.  According to Roskomnadzor, a Russian information watchdog, nearly 7000 “illegal posts” have yet to be taken down. Over the past few months, there have been disagreements between Google and the Russian government about the removal and restrictions imposed on a number of YouTube channels. Even state-funded Russian media are now forbidden by Google from making money from advertisements. 

(Image: AP/ Unsplash)

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