(Reuters) – Russian-backed separatists in a breakaway region of eastern Ukraine have blocked access to the Google search engine, their leader said on Friday, citing what he calls “misinformation”.
In a post on his Telegram channel, Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), accused Google of promoting “violence against all Russians” and said its “US government handlers” were at blame.
“If Google stops pursuing its criminal policy and returns to the mainstream of law, morality and common sense, there will be no more obstacles to its work,” he said.
He provided no evidence to support his claims.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Since sending troops to Ukraine on February 24, Russia and its proxies in eastern Ukraine have accused Western companies of spreading anti-Russian propaganda and taking a one-sided stance on the conflict.
Russia banned Facebook and Instagram in March after a court convicted Facebook owner Meta of “extremist activity”. Moscow had previously restricted access to Facebook for restricting Russian media access to the platform.
The DPR and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) followed suit by blocking Facebook and Instagram, aligning themselves with Russia’s policy on US-based social media.
(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)
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