Russia has blocked dozens of Kremlin critics’ websites, most of them about the imprisoned opposition activist Alexei Navalny. According to the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office in Moscow, a total of 49 pages were blocked in Russia, said the independent organization Roskomswoboda. The organization is committed to free access to the Internet. All pages of Navalny have been blocked, including those in the regions.
Anti-corruption foundation and doctors alliance blocked
The portals of the opposition party Lyubov Sobol, Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation and the independent Alliance of Doctors, which, for example, had uncovered grievances in the corona pandemic in Russia, were no longer readily accessible. The blocking can be bypassed, for example, via a protected network connection (VPN).
The authorities had previously classified Nawalny’s organizations as extremist. Navalny’s colleague Leonid Volkov said that before the parliamentary elections on September 19, the site for the so-called smart voting would soon be blocked. There, the opposition wants to give voters recommendations as to which candidate they should cast their vote for in order to prevent the candidate from the Kremlin party, United Russia, from entering the new State Duma.
Many opposition groups affected
Thousands of websites have been blocked in Russia, many of them by opposition members, but also by independent and critical media. The authorities justify the bans with violations of Russian laws, according to which pages with extremist content may not be accessible. Those who think differently complain that criticism of the Russian power apparatus is increasingly criminalized and that freedom of expression is threatened more and more.
On Nawalny’s website, there were revelations that attracted millions of people, including serious allegations of corruption against members of the government, Kremlin officials and other state officials. Most recently there was the film “Volodin. The Billionaire In Love With Putin”, about the President of Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin. The strip had more than three million views on YouTube on Monday.