Russia has implemented a block on Google News access in response to President Vladimir Putin’s accusations against Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner paramilitary group, for orchestrating an armed rebellion. Several Russian internet service providers, including Rostelecom, U-LAN, and Telplusl, are currently preventing web users within the country from accessing the news aggregator. Google has not yet responded to BuyTechBlog’s request for comment.
Recently, Wagner Group mercenaries entered Rostov-on-Don from Ukraine, near the Sea of Azov, and seemingly captured the city without significant resistance from the regular army. This city houses Russia’s southern military headquarters. According to BBC News, the Wagner forces are now advancing northward towards Moscow. Prigozhin has pledged to overthrow Russia’s Defense Ministry in retaliation for an alleged missile attack carried out by the regular army against Wagner personnel stationed in Ukraine. Prigozhin is not only the founder of the Wagner Group but also the financial backer and creator of the Internet Research Agency, the troll farm responsible for Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election.
Putin has characterized Prigozhin’s rebellion as a grave threat to Russian statehood, vowing severe consequences for anyone who joins the paramilitary group. “Those who have consciously chosen the path of betrayal, those who have prepared an armed rebellion, have opted for blackmail and terrorist methods—they will face inevitable punishment,” stated Putin on Saturday, as reported by The Washington Post.
In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, many Western technology companies either withdrew from the country or had their services blocked by the telecom regulator Roskomnadzor. Since March of last year, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been partially or fully restricted within Russia.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Russia, Google News, Wagner Group, rebellion, Putin, consequences, tech firms, restrictions
Why has Russia blocked access to Google News?
Russia has blocked access to Google News after President Vladimir Putin accused Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner paramilitary group, of organizing an armed rebellion. This action is seen as a response to the perceived threat to Russian statehood and aims to prevent dissemination of news related to the situation.
Which internet service providers are involved in blocking access to Google News?
At least five Russian telecoms, including Rostelecom, U-LAN, and Telplusl, are involved in blocking web users inside the country from accessing Google News. These providers have implemented the access restriction as directed by the Russian government.
What is the reason behind the rebellion led by the Wagner Group?
The Wagner Group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, is allegedly rebelling against the Russian government in response to a missile attack they claim was carried out by the regular army against Wagner personnel stationed in Ukraine. Prigozhin aims to topple Russia’s Defense Ministry as a retaliatory measure.
How has President Putin responded to the rebellion?
President Putin has framed the rebellion led by Prigozhin as a “deadly threat” to Russian statehood. He has promised severe consequences for those who join the paramilitary group, referring to them as betraying the nation and choosing the path of blackmail and terrorism.
Have Western tech firms faced similar restrictions in Russia?
Yes, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many Western tech firms either withdrew from the country or had their services partially or fully blocked by the Russian telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have already faced restrictions within Russia since March of the previous year.
More about Russia, Google News, Wagner Group, rebellion, Putin, consequences, tech firms, restrictions
- The New York Times: Russia Blocks Google News After Rebellion Threat
- BBC News: Wagner Forces Advance Towards Moscow
- The Washington Post: Putin Warns of Consequences for Wagner Group
- Roskomnadzor Official Website (Telecom regulator responsible for internet restrictions in Russia)