Russia fines Google $ 380 million for Ukraine-related content

A Moscow court on Monday fined Google 21 billion rubles ($ 360 million) for failing to remove content related to Russian military operations in Ukraine, said the communications regulator.

Roskomnadzor said the Google-owned YouTube video platform failed to block “information false”about the attack in Ukraine, “extremist and terrorist propaganda” and content that “invites minors to participate in unauthorized demonstrations”.

Although the decision is a new sentence for Google, the penalty is based on its annual revenue in Russia.

Russian authorities have recently stepped up pressure on organizations social media Westerners with repeated fines and threats in an attempt to remove criticism from the Internet, one of the last bastions of Russia’s freedom of expression.

Like many of its Western competitors, Google recently pulled out of the Russian market to denounce Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Russian news agency RIA-Novosti quoted expert Vladimir Zyukov as saying the fine is the largest fine imposed by a Russian court on a Western tech company.

He added that Russian authorities could impose on Google “as many fines as you want and you won’t get the money” because the company withdrew from the country.

Google had no immediate comments on the fine.

Roskomnadzor in March described Google and YouTube activities as “terrorist”, paving the way for a possible ban. in Russia, as well as Twitter, Instagram and many media independent at the start of the military operation.

Russian authorities have tightened legal sanctions against critics of the conflict. Those convicted of disseminating “information false”face up to 15 years in prison.

Several people have been jailed on these charges.