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Ukraine’s digital minister pleads with Big Tech to pressure Moscow

Ukraine’s digital minister said Saturday he had asked the chief executives of Google, YouTube, Apple and Netflix to block or limit their Russian services in an effort to elicit discontent among young Russians and put pressure on Moscow’s leaders.

“I asked YouTube to block the Russian propaganda media, which call us Nazis and drug addicts, lie and promote war. Asked Meta to block Facebook and Instagram. I asked Netflix to block the service in Russia,” Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, said in a statement on Facebook.

Fedorov sent letters on Friday to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and later shared the missives online.

He also asked Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, to stop supplying services and products to Russia and to block the Apple App Store, he said in a tweet.

Russia has already clashed with Facebook and its parent company Meta during the ongoing war in Ukraine. Russian authorities on Friday announced they had restricted local access to Facebook after the company took action against the pages of four Kremlin-backed media outlets.

Facebook also decided to block Russian state media from running ads on its platform across the world, the platform’s Head of Security Nathaniel Gleicher said in a tweet Saturday.

Separately, U.S. streaming giant Netflix is facing the prospect of being forced to broadcast Kremlin propaganda starting March 1 as part of new obligations in Russia, POLITICO reported earlier.

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