YouTube is blocking channels linked to Russian state-backed media RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately.
The ban, which may take some time to become fully online, comes amid concerns over disinformation swirling around the conflict in Ukraine.
The Google-owned video platform had previously limited the ability for RT and other Russian channels to profit from advertisements appearing on videos but has now ramped up its sanctions, it was announced on Tuesday.
Ukraine invasion latest – 5,700 Russian troops killed in war so far, Ukraine says
Google Europe said on Twitter: “Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we’re blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately.
“It’ll take time for our systems to fully ramp up. Our teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to take swift action.”
Social media giant Facebook has also blocked access to RT and Sputnik on its platform after being asked by governments to take further action against Russian state-backed media.
Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
Former UK deputy prime minister, Sir Nick Clegg, who is now vice president of global affairs at Facebook’s parent company, Meta, said: “Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time.”
We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time.
— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) February 28, 2022
Last month, UK foreign secretary Liz Truss revealed a sharp increase in volumes of Russian disinformation, including seeking to frame Ukraine as a threat to justify military action by Russia.
Read more on the Ukraine invasion:
Satellite images show 40-mile-long convoy of Russian vehicles closing in on Kyiv
‘My son needs me so I will be with him’: The children too sick to flee the Russian bombs
Boris Johnson says UK ‘stands ready’ to take refugees fleeing fighting in ‘considerable numbers’