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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Russia. Elections to the Duma. Recordings about “smart voting” by Alexei Navalny blocked by YouTube

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The recordings of collaborators of the famous Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny have been blocked by YouTube. It was demanded by the Russian authorities. The materials presented, among others, names of candidates in parliamentary elections supported by Navalny. Sunday is the main voting day.

The blocking of the materials presented on YouTube has been demanded by the Russian state media and internet regulator, the Roskomnadzor office. The regulator said that the recordings disseminated information about Navalny’s structures that were recognized as extremist organizations in Russia.

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Roskomnadzor demanded that three recordings be removed from the Navalny channel on YouTube. In the first film, Navalny’s associates presented the “intelligent voting” project, i.e. the oppositionist’s strategy in the parliamentary elections. It involves voting for the candidate who, according to estimates conducted by Navalny’s associates, will have the best chance of defeating the representative of the ruling United Russia party in a given district.

The second video was about Valentina Tereshkova – the first woman in space, currently sitting in the Russian parliament. Tereshkova was the initiator of an amendment to the constitution allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold another presidential term.

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The third video consisted of slides presenting all the candidates recommended by Navalny as part of “smart voting”.

The “smart voting” app is disappearing from the Google and Apple stores

On Saturday, Roskomnadzor demanded that Google remove it Google Docs files with the names of the candidates supported by Navalny. On Sunday, these lists were blocked: when you try to open them, you receive a message that they violate the rules of using the website.

Rally in defense of Alexei Navalny. Archival photo Konstantin Lenkov / Shutterstock

On September 6, Roskomnadzor blocked the “smart voting” website. Before 17 September, when early voting in the parliamentary elections began, Apple and Google concerns removed the Navalny application from their offers, through which it was possible to check the names of candidates recommended in the “smart voting”. The Telegram messenger blocked the “intelligent voting” bot, citing the ban on agitation during the election silence.

Elections to the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, have been held in Russia since September 17. Sunday is the main voting day.

Main photo source: Konstantin Lenkov / Shutterstock



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