Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Under Russian pressure to remove content, Instagram complies but YouTube holds off

Under Russian pressure to remove content, Instagram complies but YouTube holds off

US tech giants were thrust in the middle of the battle for Russian Internet freedom on Thursday as the country's most prominent opposition leader blamed Instagram for bowing to a government request to remove posts that embarrassed an oligarch and a top government official.

According to Navalny's video, Rybka's posts and book show that metals magnate Oleg Deripaska treated Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko to a lavish weekend aboard his yacht in the days leading up to the 2016 USA election. Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation posted a video last Thursday (8 February) presenting the footage that allegedly showed both men meeting.

Roskomnadzor announced around midday on February 14 that "nearly 30 resources" had deleted Navalny's video from their sites. "Mr. Deripaska's claim is to protect his right for privacy and has nothing to do with any political struggle between Mr. Navalny and his political opponents", the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The video also claims to have proof of the pair discussing United States relations - a month after Paul Manafort, at the time a Trump campaign manager, allegedly offered the oligarch private briefings on Donald Trump's campaign.

"Nastya Rybka" was one of four sexily-dressed women who entered the Navalny organization's Moscow headquarters last September and were filmed by a crew from Russia's Life News, who "just happened" to be passing by with professional equipment, Navalny says in his YouTube video.

Facebook "losing young people to Snapchat"
While Instagram is expected to have around 1.6 million more users this year, the same for Snapchat will be higher at 1.9 million. That will lift the total number of users aged between 55-65, to 6.4 million, a size second only to the 16-34 year-olds group.

In one snippet, Deripaska explains to Rybka why relations between Russian Federation and the United States are so bad.

Deripaska, in a statement last week, accused Navalny and others of spreading lies about him and was reported to have obtained a court order in southern Russian Federation to have the offending material removed. 12 Feb, videos and photos were still available on YouTube and Instagram.

Deripaska filed suit following Navalny's investigation, accusing Vashukevich of illegally using private images. He concluded that Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko had spent time on the businessman's yacht in Norway, which could be suspicious given the anti-corruption legislation. Navalny is asking that they do not accede to the government's demands.

The videos prove that by accepting a trip on Deripaska's yacht, Prikhodko had in effect been bribed by the former, Navalny says in a lawsuit against Rozkomnadzor, as reported by

On February 15, Alexey Navalny said Roskomnadzor had blocked access to his website in Russian Federation.

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