Navalny Website Blocked In Russia In Dispute Over 'Rybkagate' Report

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On Saturday, the Russian federal communications oversight agency Roskomnadzor "ordered YouTube to remove seven videos and ordered Instagram to take down 14 posts, all cited in the investigation", according to The New York Times.

The woman who Navalny said filmed the video, Nastya Rybka, describes herself as a model and has penned a book on how to seduce billionaires.

Navalny, a vocal foe of Putin who has organized large street protests on several occasions and published a series of reports alleging corruption in Russia's ruling elite, has been barred from the presidential race due to a conviction on financial-crimes charges he contends were fabricated by the Kremlin to sideline him. He also alleges that Deripaska was updating Prikhodo on the 2016 US presidential campaign, with information that he had received from Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager. 12 Feb, videos and photos were still available on YouTube and Instagram.

Navalny found 2016 videos of Deripaska on his yacht with Sergey Prikhodko, Russia's deputy prime minister, and said Deripaska could have been bribing Prikhodko and offering information about the 2016 USA election he had received from Manafort.

If neither Mr Navalny nor the U.S. tech firms involved delete or otherwise block local access to the imagery by the end of the day, then Russia's ISPs will be required to take action themselves.

Deripaska's spokesman denied that he ever received such an email.

"It's impossible for internet providers to block certain pages on Instagram and YouTube", and they'll have to block the services unless the material singled out by the watchdog is deleted, said Karen Kazaryan, chief analyst at the Russian Association for Electronic Communications, an internet lobby group.

A video of the oligarch apparently discussing the relationship between the United States and Russian Federation was also published last week by opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Instagram has not yet commented on the matter but an anonymous source from YouTube claims that, whilst it has sent messages to those who uploaded the videos, it has not asked them to remove them. Such moves, usually implemented through Rozkomnadzor by its own initiative or at the request of courts or the General Prosecutor, consists of blacklists, regulations, intimidations, and cyber-attacks.

Mr Navalny is Russia's most prominent opposition leader.

Deripaska won a court injunction ordering the video to be taken down, along with six other videos and 14 Instagram posts. The context here is that Navalny is a member of the political opposition to the Russian government and his posts on this topic have as much to do with accusations of an improper relationship between the billionaire and the Deputy Prime Minister as it does of sordid relationships with escorts.