Russian regulators on Friday accused US tech giant Google and its video subsidiary YouTube of “terrorist” activities, the first step towards a possible access ban.
Russia has already blocked access to other global tech giants including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as several independent media.
Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor said YouTube users “are sharing adverts with calls to shut down railway communications between Russia and Belarus”.
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Russia partly carried out its military operation against Ukraine last month from the north through the territory of its ally Belarus.
“The YouTube administration’s activities are terrorist in nature and threaten the life and health of Russian citizens,” Roskomnadzor said, quoted by Interfax news agency.
The watchdog denounced Google’s “clearly anti-Russian position” and demanded the US company “stops broadcasting anti-Russian videos as soon as possible”.
Russia earlier this month launched a criminal case against Meta — which owns Facebook and Instagram — accusing the company of allowing posts “calling for the murder” of Russians.
Russia is one of the most restrictive countries for press freedom and freedom of expression, but the situation has worsened in the past few weeks since the operation in Ukraine began on February 24.