Moscow has restricted access to at least four websites run by critics and opponents of President Vladimir Putin.
‘Cleansing the media space’
Websites of opponent Alexei Navalny, a blog owned by Garry Kasparov, as well as two news sites were blocked as per the orders of the country’s prosecutor general’s office.
The office released a statement that argues about the blocks’ imposition, as the posts on the sites help stage illegal protests.
“These sites contain incitement to illegal activity and participation in public events held in violation of the established order,” said state communications monitoring agency Roskomnadzor.
In a tweet, Alexei Navalny’s spokeswoman Anna Venduta said that this was a “political decision taken as part of the cleansing of the media space.”
Ej.ru website editor Alexander Ryklin described the move as “monstrous” and said that it was a “direct violation of all the principles of freedom of speech.”
Critics have lambasted the decision as a mere ploy to stifle the growing dissent in Russia.