Alexei Navalny, Russian political activist and critic of tyrannical Russian leader Vladimir Putin, had his website and the sites of friends blocked by a Russian regulator ahead of the September parliamentary election.
While Navalny has challenged Putin before in an effort to bring democratic reforms to Russia, the claim concerning this latest move is that Navalny’s website content was “extremist.” Reuters summarizes the main points of this story:
“49 opposition-related websites blocked in Russia
Move comes before parliamentary election in September
Regulator says it acted at prosecutor general's request
Says sites pushing 'extremist' and outlawed propaganda”
Alexei Navalny is (or was) the head (among other groups) of the Russia of the Future Party, formerly called the People’s Alliance or the Progress Party.
“Russia of the Future opposes Russian President Vladimir Putin and the ruling party United Russia. The party's platform stood for the decentralization of power in Russia, cutting the number of government officials, lustration for those responsible for political repressions and reducing the president's powers, possibly switching to a parliamentary republic under the rule of law and ensuring the independence of the judiciary. It also stipulated ‘drastically reducing’ government interference in the economy, ending censorship, prohibiting the government from owning media outlets and abolishing conscription. The foreign policy plank called for introducing visas with Central Asia, stopping support for so-called rogue states and partnering up with Western countries.”
Hardly shocking that Vladimir Putin, former Soviet KGB thug and current dictator, should have jailed Navalny. I’m only surprised Navalny has not been killed yet—Putin critics have a habit of ending up dead.
In fact, Putin is famous for repressing any challenges to his socialist dictatorship. Of course, it is mere wordplay to speak of “outlawed” content if the government is unjustly outlawing something, or to speak of the wickedness of “destabilizing” Russia’s government if the government is in fact evil and needs to be removed.
“The move, the latest chapter in a long-running crackdown on President Vladimir Putin's most prominent domestic opponent, also blocked the websites inside Russia of 48 other individuals and organisations affiliated with Navalny.
Russian Internet regulator Roskomnadzor said in a statement to Reuters it had acted to block navalny.com -- one of the Navalny's movement's main websites -- and the others at the request of the prosecutor general.
A Russian court last month ruled that organisations linked to Navalny were ‘extremist’ based on allegations from Moscow's top prosecutor who said they were trying to foment a revolution by seeking to destabilise the socio-political situation inside Russia, a charge they denied.
The ruling in effect outlawed them and prevented Navalny's allies from taking part in September's election to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
Roskomnadzor said the sites it had blocked had been helping the movements covered by the court ban to distribute propaganda and continue illegal activities.
Condemning the move, Navalny's team said on social media it expected the authorities would soon target its so-called smart voting website, which advises peoples how to vote tactically in September to try to unseat candidates from the ruling United Russia party.
It also said its resources on YouTube, where it posts investigations into alleged corruption among Russia's ruling elite, were under pressure. . .
Google did not immediately respond when asked if Roskomnadzor had asked it to remove Navalny-related material and how it might deal with such a request. . .
‘They have blocked all sites linked to us,’ Pevchikh wrote on Twitter. ‘They have simply decided to purge us from the Russian Internet.’ . . .
Navalny, Putin's most prominent domestic critic, is serving a 2-1/2 year jail sentence for parole violations that he says were trumped up. His jailing has increased strains in Russia's relations with the West, which has called for him to be freed.”
Cancel culture is functioning in an extreme form in Russia. Dictators brook no opposition.