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Duma speaker says Russia ought to defend fellow-Russians’ rights in Ukraine

May 25, 0:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Duma urged the assembly to condemn the Ukrainian President’s decree to ban the use of popular Russian social networks and internet resources in Ukraine

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MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. Russia ought to defend the rights of fellow-Russians living in Ukraine, the Speaker of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin said on Wednesday in a comment on the appeal the Duma issued earlier on the same day to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Duma urged the assembly to condemn the Ukrainian President’s decree to ban the use of popular Russian social networks and internet resources in Ukraine.

"We ought to defend elementary rights of man in Ukraine and in other countries because we are part of the European community and our counterparts in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and other inter-parliamentary institutes should understand what’s really happening - I mean the violations of fundamental rights of man," Volodin said.

"Ukraine is a neighboring country and our fellow-Russians live there, too, and it’s important to ensure the integrity of their rights there," he said.

The appeal the Duma issued on Wednesday urges the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to condemn "the unlawful actions of the Ukrainian authorities and to demand the revocation of decisions that encroach on the fundamental rights and freedoms of man."

Members of Russian parliament condemn the Ukrainian authorities’ moves to block access to the social networks VK and Odnoklassniki, as well as the internet resources Yandex and Mail.ru.

"As a result of these steps, millions of users in Ukraine have lost an opportunity to communicate freely, to express their position, to support cross-border family and professional contacts," the report said.

"Formation of an authoritarian state in Ukraine continues right in front of the world community’s eyes, a state powered by the ideas of ethnic superiority, xenophobia, ethnic and religious strife, a state suppressing alternative viewpoints and imposing tough restrictions on unimpeded access to information," it said.

The appeal also says the Ukrainian President’s order violates the national Constitution, which says every person has the right to collect, store, use, and disseminate information orally, in writing or in any other form of his or her choice.

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