Will Youtube be blocked in Russia? A personal reflection

With english subtitles.

There are rumors that Youtube will soon be blocked in Russia, which doesn’t seem unlikely. Last year in the month of Mars Facebook and Instagram as well as Twitter was blocked. But Youtube has created some kind of problem for legislators in the State governed by the Putin regime. There are 90 000 000 people in Russia who one way or the other are enjoying Youtube, and leading Russian experts admit that the Russian alternative “Rutube” can not meet up to that challenge, nor can it provide such space for content

What put the rumors in motion recently was the leader of “Wagner” – Jevgenyj Prigozhin – who said that Youtube must be blocked. And someone else said that it will take place at the end of this month. What will be will soon become clear

On the one hand, popular social media are blocked, and on the other hand, new laws make journalistic activities more difficult. In order to express oneself publicly in today’s Russia, the status of an individual or an organization must always be stated, if it is an “inoagent” (= foreign agent) in the sense of a natural person or a legal entity.

A recent article in “News dot ru” tells of a case:

“In Russia, a first criminal case has been brought for the lack of the marking ‘inoagent’

An investigative commission in Tver has opened a criminal case against one of its residents – Artemiy Vazhenkovyj (by the Ministry of Justice included in the list of foreign agents) for the absence of the marking “inoagent” on posts on the Internet, lawyer Pavel Chikov announces on Telegram. He writes that it is the first criminal case for ‘unfulfilled obligation by foreign agent’. The young man is now threatened with two years in prison. He is outside the borders of Russia.

Chikov said that Vazhenkovyj was brought into the register of foreign agents already shortly after the State Duma elections in 2021. In March last year, he was sentenced to a fine of 10,000 rubles for the absence of the foreign agent mark on a post on Instagram (this social media’s activity has been banned in the Russian Federation), and after a few months he was sentenced to a fine of 50,000 rubles for the lack of the same marking on posts on Telegram.

As Vazhenkovyj himself has told another publication (SOTA), he received summonses to appear before the commission of inquiry still at the end of 2022, but he had already disappeared from the country by then. He himself learned about the indictment on February 7. He is the coordinator of the movement for the defense of voters’ rights ‘Golos’ (by the Ministry of Justice included in the list of foreign agents)…”

Note that after the mention of “Telegram” the addition by the Ministry of Justice inserted into the list of foreign agents is not needed. It is thus one of those social media that has already been in use for a long time, but has not been blocked in Russia.

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