USA tech giants were thrust in the middle of the battle for Russian Internet freedom on Thursday as the country's most prominent opposition leader blamed Instagram for bowing to a government request to remove posts that embarrassed an oligarch and a top government official.
State body Roskomnadzor has threatened to block any site distributing the video, including YouTube and Instagram, but both remain accessible in Russian Federation. Navalny also presented evidence a woman on Deripaska's yacht was a prostitute.
"Instagram chose to comply with Russian illegal censorship requests and deleted some content about oligarch Deripaska", tweeted Navalny.
Mr. Deripaska, who has emerged as a central figure in the investigations of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential campaign, said through a spokesman that Mr. Navalny's allegations of bribery and prostitutes were a "hot story that appears far from being the truth".
Third, the photographs and videos in question had been publicly available on Rybka's Instagram account and her YouTube channel at least for two years, but Deripaska never before complained that they violated his privacy.
"Roskomnadzor has blocked https://navalny.com/ at the request of (Russian oligarch Oleg) Deripaska", Navalny said on Twitter.
Miss Rybka posted several videos in 2016 showing Deripaska on his yacht talking with Deputy Prime minister Prikhodko.
Alexey Navalny, the key opposition figure in Russian Federation, said today that his site Navalny.com has been blocked in Russian Federation.
Deripaska, in a statement last week, accused Navalny and others of spreading lies about him and was reported to have obtained a court order in southern Russian Federation to have the offending material removed.
Mr. Navalny and his team created mirror websites and called on supporters to use virtual private networks, or VPNs, which enable them to avoid access restrictions.
A member of Navalny's team posted a screen shot of a message the team allegedly received from YouTube and Google, demanding that he take down one of the videos where he discusses the allegedly corrupt dealings. To limit access to services have been given until Wednesday night, February 14.