Following Russia’s increasing influence in Ukraine’s Crimean separatist movement, the Russian Prosecutor’s General Office blocked access to more than a dozen ”Ukrainian nationalist organizations’” on social media over the weekend.
Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media oversight agency, blocked the organizations on the region’s popular VKontakte social media platform for promoting ”direct appeals to carry out terrorist activities,” and encouraging “participation in unsanctioned mass actions,” the Associated Press reports.
According to a Russia Today report, an organization called Pravy Sektor used VKontakte to illicit the help of Russian terrorist Doku Umarov, calling on him to “act against Russia” in a post. The group later claimed the message was the work of a hacker and quickly deleted the post.
The ban does not extend into the Crimea itself, according to a freelance correspondent for Mashable reporting from Simferopol – the region where the recent incidents began.
Russia’s military seized control of Crimea over the weekend despite warnings from the United States and other countries to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty following the recent ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovych and his government in late February.