YouTube could soon be blocked in Russia because of videos about a billionaire linked to Paul Manafort, an social media-savvy model and a government minister close to Vladimir Putin.
Oleg Deripaska, a Russian metals magnate known to Americans for for dealings with the former Trump campaign chair during his time in Ukraine, was seen briefly in a video posted by Nastya Rybka, a model and writer who has written a book about seducing oligarchs.
That clip was spotted by the team of anti-Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose investigation into the circumstances around it found that Deripaska was aboard his yacht off the coast of Norway and was joined by Russia’s deputy prime minister Sergei Prikhodko.
Navalny said that beyond cavorting with what he said were women in the “escort services industry,” Prikhodko was accepting a bribe from the billionaire by traveling on his ship.
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The opposition leader also noted that Rybka’s video filmed weeks before the 2016 U.S. election captured a conversation about former U.S. State Department employee Victoria Nuland, and connected the Deripaska-Prikhodko conversation to speculation that the oligarch could have been a link between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
Deripaska, who emails show was offered briefings on the Trump campaign by Manafort. went to court only days after the investigation’s publication, and a judge agreed with his claim that they violated his privacy.
That Russia’s media watchdog to demand that YouTube, owned by Google, and Instagram, owned by Facebook, take the content down.
Russian law says that internet service providers must block access to sites that host “illegal” content if they do not delete it.
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Navalny’s team, which has published previous investigations about the vast real estate holdings of Russian government employees with relatively low salaries, said that YouTube had asked them to take down a video about the yacht affair.
He wrote that seven outlets were asked to take the information down before a Wednesday deadline including Maxim’s Russia website, where a list of jokes about Deripaska and Rybka had been taken down as of the early afternoon.
Instagram photos were also among those that the watchdog wanted to block, though Rybka, whose pseudonym means “fish,” appears to have deleted the original images of Deripaska from her account.
She has been posting edited Valentine’s Day photos of him from a vacation in Dubai, and also posted on Wednesday that she is interested in shooting pornography.
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