Russia threatens to block YouTube after suspension of German RT channels

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Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor on Wednesday threatened to restrict access to YouTube after the video-sharing platform blocked two German-language channels of state broadcaster RT.

The move comes amid an escalating standoff between foreign tech giants and the Kremlin as Russia seeks greater control over content available online to its domestic audience.

Roskomnadzor said it had sent a letter to YouTube’s owner Google “demanding that all restrictions be lifted” from the two channels — RT DE and Der Fehlende Part — “as soon as possible.”

It added that the restrictions “violate the key principles of free dissemination of information” and are an “act of censorship against Russian media”.

Roskomandzor said YouTube could be issued with a warning and “the law provides for measures of full or partial restriction of access” if such warnings are ignored.

Earlier Wednesday, Russia’s foreign ministry accused YouTube of an “unprecedented act of media aggression” which it said was likely aided by German authorities.

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