Why Russia threatens to block YouTube

by Kelvin
Why Russia threatens to block YouTube

The Russian telecommunications gendarme is threatening the video platform owned by Google with suspension if the two German RT channels are not restored.

Source: Pexels / Szabó Viktor

Source: Pexels / Szabó Viktor


A showdown between YouTube and Russia is launched, we learn from. This Wednesday, September 29, the Russian telecommunications gendarme, Roskomnadzor, threatens to block YouTube on Russian territory if Google does not agree to lift the channel suspension YouTube of the RT (Russia Today) media in Germany.

It all started with a warning from YouTube with regard to the main channel of RT DE (for RT Germany). The platform suspended the channel for a week, judging that the latter had not respected its policy with regard to disinformation around the Covid-19. Clearly, RT Germany was accused of having broadcast “” on the Covid-19.

Bypass the ban

The story could have ended there if RT Germany had not used its second channel YouTube to continue publishing its content, usually reserved for its main channel. Google considered that RT DE said a spokesperson for YouTube from Deutsche Welle.

As a result, both channels were deleted by YouTube September 28, 2021.

Ютюб только что удалил оба наших немецких канала БЕЗ ВОЗМОЖНОСТИ ВОССТАНОВЛЕНИЯ. pic.twitter.com/2knqxnCrMh

– Маргарита Симоньян (@M_Simonyan) September 28, 2021

In the process, the editor-in-chief of RT DE, Margarita Simonyan, published a series of tweets to react to this ban from the platform. She confirms that this is a deletion.

The one that is labeled by Twitter as a direct representative of Russia considered that one had been She then invited her country to ban a series of German media in Russia, as well as YouTube.

German media also targeted

On the German side, government spokesman Steffen Seibert plays appeasement, and specifies that Germany has nothing to do with the suspension of RT channels.

The Russian Foreign Ministry does not have the same version. He judges that Berlin has “” the sanction against RT and declares to

Given the nature of the incident, which is fully in line with the logic of the information war unleashed against Russia, the adoption of symmetrical retaliatory measures against the German media in Russia seems not only appropriate, but also necessary,

Google-Kremlin relationship already strained

Let us add that the rag has already been burning for some time between Russia and the American video platform. The very day the threat to suspend YouTube was uttered, a Russian court sentenced Google to a fine of 6.5 million rubles (77,157 euros) for not removing content deemed “” by the Russian state.

Also, on September 19, just before the legislative elections in the country, Google and Apple gave in to pressure from Moscow to remove content referring to the famous Kremlin opponent, Alexei Navalny. Sources withinApple and Google had said that the companies had given in to the risk that their employees in Russia would be worried.