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Russia seeks to block BBC website over interview with activist

A graphic showing the Russian-language website of BBC News.
A graphic showing the Russian-language website of BBC News.

Russian authorities say they are prepared to block the country’s local version of the BBC News website after the agency published an interview with a social activist last month.

Roskomnadzor, the telecommunications regulator of Russia, has reportedly asked the BBC to remove a July 31 audio interview with artist and social activist Artem Loskutov, who the Russian government considers to be an “extremist.”

According to a report published by Izvestia, the Russians say the BBC interview contains “appeals to riots, extremist activities or participation in mass public activities conducted in violation of the legal order.”

Izvestia said they could not reach the BBC for comment.

Other news organizations have withdrawn similar interviews with Loskutov, including the business website Vkontakte, often considered to be the country’s version of Facebook, has also reportedly blocked a page linked to the activist.

Loskutov is a polarizing figure in Russia and is known for participating in political campaigns aimed at creating an autonomous state for Siberia, the easternmost territory of the country.

GigaOM: Russia aims to block BBC News website over interview