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Kiev bans Russian social networks to silence alternative opinions and news — diplomat

May 18, 17:41 UTC+3

Maria Zakharova pointed out that the ban was announced a few days after the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest wrapped up in Kiev

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Vycheslav Prokofyev/TASS

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. The Kiev authorities’ decision to ban Russian social networks is aimed at blocking Ukrainians’ access to alternative sources of information, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

"They make no secret that this (step) aims at blocking access to as many alternative sources of information as possible. This move is not even towards censorship but towards a blatant violation of their obligations concerning freedom of speech, this course was outlined right after the 2014 unconstitutional coup," the Russian diplomat added.

Zakharova pointed out that the ban was announced a few days after the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest concluded in Kiev.

"I would like to draw attention to the cowardly way this step was taken. This blacklist was under consideration for a long time, this was planned long ago… After they received what they wanted from Europe - while Europe had awarded them with bonuses to facilitate democratic process in Ukraine, Kiev once again cheated on Europe," the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman noted.

She went on to mention another example of Kiev’s restriction policy pointing out that the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) had passed a bill banning the use of the St. George ribbon. According to Zakharova, these measures prove that "the Kiev regime has no plans to unite the country’s people."

"This is one of the signs indicating that the regime has no intentions to implement the Minsk Agreements," the Russian diplomat concluded.

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