Russia-backed separatist Donetsk People’s Republic says it will block Google for ‘inhuman propaganda’, as it follows Russia’s bans on Western social media
Google is to be blocked in the occupied Ukrainian region of Donetsk after the Russian-backed leader there accused the firm of participating in “inhuman propaganda”.
In a statement on social media platform Telegram, Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said: “The inhuman propaganda of Ukraine and the west has long crossed all boundaries. There is a real persecution of Russians, the imposition of lies and disinformation.”
Pushilin said Google was at the forefront of this effort, adding that it “openly, on the orders of its curators from the US government, promotes terrorism and violence against all Russians, and especially the population of Donbas”.
“If Google stops pursuing its criminal policy and returns to the mainstream of law, morality and common sense, there will be no obstacles for its work,” he said.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on 24 February and has since backed the DPR and the separate Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in the eastern part of the country.
Both structures were set up in 2014 and have been declared terrorist organisations by Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv.
Since the invasion began Russia and its proxies in eastern Ukraine have accused Western tech firms of spreading anti-Russian propaganda.
Social media ban
Russia banned Facebook and Instagram in March after a court found Facebook owner Meta guilty of “extremist activity”. Russia had previously limited access to Facebook for restricting Russian media outlets on the platform.
The DPR and LPR both followed Russia’s lead in blocking Facebook and Instagram.
Russia, Syra and North Korea are the only UN member states to recognise the authority of the self-proclaimed republics in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk.
The DPR uses a .su top-level domain (TLD), created in 1990 for the then-existent Soviet Union and currently administered by Russia, while the LPR uses a .info TLD.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.