Russia blocks opposition leader Navalny’s website

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s communications providers on Thursday blocked access to the website of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on orders of the state communications watchdog.

Navalny announced the move via his Twitter account, which was still accessible. Users going to the website were told it could not be reached.

The agency, Roskomnadzor, had demanded that Navalny remove a video alleging that Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko received lavish hospitality from billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Deripaska rejected the report and won a court ruling that ordered Navalny to remove the investigation as an unlawful intrusion into the tycoon’s privacy. Navalny refused, and appealed the ruling.

Navalny’s investigation drew from the social media account of a woman who claims to have had an affair with Deripaska.

The woman, who calls herself Nastya Rybka, has written a book about her work as an escort and said on Russian television last year that she had been hired by a modeling agency to spend time at Deripaska’s yacht.

Instagram on Thursday had removed some of Rybka’s posts following Roskomnadzor’s request, but a YouTube video of Navalny’s investigation that has generated over 5 million views remained available.

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