Russia restricts access to Wikipedia,Yandex over “extremist materials”

5 March 2014 15:59

A court in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, Russia has ordered the local Internet provider to "restrict" access to Wikipedia and two other websites, ruling that their pages contained "extremist" materials, a court official said.

Acting on a petition filed by a local prosecutor's office, the court ruled that the regional branch of state telecoms giant Rostelecom had to "restrict access" to the three websites: Wikipedia, an online encyclopaedia; Yandex, Russia's leading search engine; and movie listings and review website Kinopoisk.

Prosecutors said the websites included citations of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf and unspecified other "extremist materials" that are banned in Russia, court official Natalya Pakulova said, Interfax reported.

Russia already blocks access to websites run by Islamic fundamentalists and other groups it considers to have links to terrorism, and has recently expanded it suppression of "extremist" websites to pages linked to the Ukrainian protest movement. 

Earlier this week, Internet monitoring agency Roskomnadzor said in a statement that it had shut down more than a dozen pages on the VKontakte social network, saying that they promoted "Ukrainian nationalist groups" and supported terrorism.