Google’s search engine is to be banned in Ukraine’s occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions after pro-Russian authorities accused the US tech giant of promoting “terrorism and violence against all Russians”.
In a statement posted on the social messaging service Telegram, Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said: “The inhuman propaganda of Ukraine and the West has long since crossed all borders . There is a real persecution of Russians, the imposition of lies and misinformation.
He accused Google’s search engine of being at the forefront of this effort, saying it “openly promotes, at the behest of its US government conservatives, terrorism and violence against all Russians, and especially the people of Donbass”.
Announcing the decision to block Google, Pushilin added: “That’s what they do in any society with criminals: they are isolated from others. If Google stops pursuing its criminal policy and returns to the mainstream of law, morality, and common sense, there will be no more obstacles to its work.
The DPR and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) previously banned Facebook and Instagram, which were also restricted in Russia after a Moscow court found Facebook owner Meta guilty of “extremist activity”.
Russia, Syria and North Korea are the only UN member states to recognize the self-declared occupied Donetsk and Lugansk republics as legitimate authorities. The DPR and LPR were established in 2014 and were declared terrorist organizations by the Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv.
Google has been contacted for comment.