Last week, a 25-minute video published by Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny alleging a new link between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign made headlines around the world. Now the Russian government wants it scrubbed from the internet—so much so that it is taking steps that could block millions of its own citizens from using YouTube or Instagram.
The video was released last Thursday and accused Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko—a top foreign policy official—of having been a conduit between the Kremlin and Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch linked to the Trump campaign. In making his case, Navalny mined the autobiography and Instagram feeds of Nastya Rybka, a Russian model and escort who claims to be Deripaska’s mistress. Drawing on video and audio Rybka posted that captured her, Deripaska, and Prikhodko relaxing on a yacht while the two men discuss US-Russia relations, Navalny’s video alleges that Deripaska hosted Prikhodko for a secret meeting at sea in the company of several female escorts. Deripaska immediately denied the claim and threatened to sue media outlets reporting on it, assailing the video as a “planned campaign aiming to damage my reputation.”
The day after the video’s publication, Deripaska won a court injunction requiring it—along with six other videos and 14 Instagram posts—to be taken down. The court, in Deripaska’s native Krasnodar region, found that the posts violated his right to privacy and ordered that they must come down.
VIDEO HERE Mute audio