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The global reach of Russian state-backed news channels RT and Sputnik is getting slimmer by the day.
YouTube has now said it will block the outlets across Europe — including the U.K. — following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, we’re blocking YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe, effective immediately,” Google Europe said in a statement posted on Twitter. “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.”
Shortly after the announcement was made, RT was inaccessible on YouTube in the U.K.
The move follows a series of swift actions taken against RT and Sputnik — which many have argued have become mouthpieces for Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin — since the conflict erupted last week.
Over the weekend, the European Union said it was blocking the channels, part of a broader plan to ban the “Kremlin’s media machine” from the continent, according to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Canadian cable giants later pulled RT from their TV lineups, while on Monday the U.K. media regulator Ofcom said it had opened 15 investigations into the channel over breaches of impartiality. RT is still available on U.K. TV.
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