Russia on Friday demanded Alphabet Inc.’s Google stop broadcasting what it called threats against Russian citizens on its YouTube video platform, a move that could herald a complete shutdown of the service on Russian soil.
Google representatives in Russia and abroad did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.
Russian regulator Roskomnadzor said the platform’s announcements called for the suspension of the communication systems of the Russian and Belarusian railway networks, and that their release was evidence of the US tech giant’s anti-Russian position.
“The actions of the YouTube administration are of a terrorist nature and threaten the life and health of Russian citizens,” the regulator said. “Roskomnadzor is categorically opposed to such advertising campaigns and demands that Google stop broadcasting anti-Russian videos as soon as possible.”
The warning is the latest brush between Moscow and foreign tech companies over Ukraine.
YouTube, which has blocked Russian state-funded media outlets around the world, is under heavy pressure from Russia’s communications regulator and politicians.
Moscow blocked Instagram this week, outraged that Meta Platforms allowed social media users in Ukraine to post messages like “Death to Russian invaders.” It had previously blocked access to Facebook for what it saw as restrictions on the Russian media.
In early March, Ukraine’s volunteer “computer army” of hackers announced a new series of targets, including the railway network of Belarus, a close ally of Moscow.