22:05 GMT +319 April 2018
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    Kiev Ban on Russian Social Networks Deprives Ukrainians of Communication Rights

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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's decree on blocking access to the Russian social media networks "VKontakte" and "Odnoklassniki" directly and negatively impacts Ukrainians by denying them their right to free communication and information, Leonid Levin, the head of the Russian parliament's lower house Committee for Information Policy, said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to expand the list of Russia's individuals and companies affected by Ukraine's restrictive measures. After the expansion, the list included a number of media outlets, such as Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, IT companies, including Yandex, and such social networks as VK (VKontakte) and Odnoklassniki.

    "First of all, Poroshenko's decree causes harm to Ukraine's citizens, with more than 13 million among them daily visiting the 'VKontakte' social network and over 5 million — 'Odnoklassniki.' Altogether this is almost half of the country's population. These people will now be deprived of their usual tool for communication and information," Levin was quoted as saying by his press service.

    The lawmaker stressed that these social networks served as a platform for dialogue between people of Ukraine and Russia, but Ukrainian authorities unilaterally decided to deprive their citizens of the right to free communication.

    The appendices to the NSDC decision indicate that the expanded sanctions list includes 1,228 individuals and 468 legal entities, including several media outlets, the Kaspersky Lab global cybersecurity company and the Yandex technology giant.


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