The footage and photos that have irked the government show a former model associated with billionaire Oleg Deripaska and feature in an investigation into the tycoon led by Russia's leading opposition politician, Alexey Navalny.
Second, after Deripaska's legal team filed suit, Roskomnadzor immediately added Navalny's video investigation to its official list of sites containing information not to be distributed in Russian Federation, specifically referring to Deripaska's lawsuit as the reason. "The site still opens through some providers, but that is temporary", Navalny, who has accused Roskomnadzor of "censorship", said in a subsequent tweet.
The videos were reportedly recorded and uploaded by a woman called Nastya Rybka, who said she was hired by a modelling agency to spend time on Deripaska's yacht. He also alleges that Deripaska was updating Prikhodo on the 2016 USA presidential campaign, with information that he had received from Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager.
Deripaska denies the bribery allegations and accuses Navalny of trying to damage his reputation.
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The media watchdog expects Google to make a decision as to whether YouTube would or would not delete content mentioned in the court ruling. He was banned from running against Mr. Putin because of a criminal conviction that he and rights advocates say was politically motivated.
Deripaska sued in a local court, which turned around and ordered that the material be removed web-wide, recruiting the Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor to enforce the order.
Navalny says Rybka - whose real name is Anastasiya Vashukevich, according to the Guardian - claimed in a book she published to have met Deripaska and other oligarchs while working as an escort.
Roskomnadzor announced around midday on February 14 that "nearly 30 resources" had deleted Navalny's video from their sites. "The companies were given three business days to block access to the content, or face investigation".
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"Roskomnadzor has ordered telecommunications service providers to limit access to the webpages at navalny.com, mentioned in the ruling issued by the Krasnodar region's Ust-Labinsky District Court". According to the businessman's spokesperson, the plaintiffs violated Deripaska's privacy.
Navalny said that beyond cavorting with what he said were women in the "escort services industry", Prikhodko was accepting a bribe from the billionaire by traveling on his ship.
His website was blocked Thursday, though the YouTube video of his investigation has remained available.
With most news media outlets controlled by the government, Mr. Navalny's website is virtually his only vehicle for distributing his investigations of corruption among members of Mr. Putin's inner circle.
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