Google’s search engine is set to be banned in the occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, with pro-Russian leaders accusing the tech giant of promoting “inhuman propaganda”.
In a statement posted to the messaging service Telegram, Denis Pushilin, the Russian-backed leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said: “The inhuman propaganda of Ukraine and the west has long crossed all boundaries. There is a real persecution of Russians, the imposition of lies and disinformation.”
Pushilin identified Google’s search engine as a significant problem, saying it “openly, on the orders of its curators from the US government, promotes terrorism and violence against all Russians, and especially the population of Donbas”.
“This is what they do in any society with criminals: they are isolated from other people. If Google stops pursuing its criminal policy and returns to the mainstream of law, morality and common sense, there will be no obstacles for its work.” he added.
Facebook and Instagram had both already been banned in Donetsk and Luhansk, following in the footsteps of Russia who banned the platforms after a Moscow court found parent company Meta guilty of “extremist activity”.
The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) are self-proclaimed republics in occupied regions in the east of Ukraine, and have been the scene of fierce fighting since declaring independence in 2014. Russia moved to recognize the independence of the two regions in February on launching its invasion of Ukraine. Syria and North Korea are the only other UN members states to recognize the republics as independent.