YouTube is biggest threat to Russia and undermines unity of political elites

Panicked Russian officials are looking at ways to ban video website YouTube, labelling it one of the country's “biggest threats”.

Earlier this year it was mooted by sources that Russia was thinking about a possible ban on the site due to the ability to view content from everywhere in the world – much of it shattering the illusion Russia President Vladimir Putin likes to put forward to his people that Russia is almighty. However, nothing had been done to take a possible ban forward . . . until today.

With an election looming in the early part of 2024, a ban on the site is now moving forward, according to the aforementioned Kremlin source posting on Telegram channel General SVR. The move is said to be being made by Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev, who is also the apparent “handler” of the double.

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They said: “Patrushev considers YouTube, uncontrolled social networks and instant messengers to be the main threat to his power. It should be noted that there are many people . . who fully support this.

“Discussions about the need to block YouTube and several instant messengers began a few days ago and an order has already been given to prepare a report on the possibilities of implementing this initiative. If experts say that the possibility of blocking is real, then immediately after the New Year the implementation of this plan will begin.

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“Nikolai Patrushev prefers to approach the presidential elections by limiting the West’s ability to influence political and social life in Russia – it is YouTube, according to the Secretary of the Security Council and his associates, that is a means of American intelligence services to destabilize the situation in our country, and messengers are supposedly means of communication for destructive groups and elements that may try to undermine the unity of the political elites and people of Russia from the inside.”

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Russia already has its own social media and video sharing service called VK, or Vkontaktem which has more than 656million registered users. It is Russia's sixth most popular website, and the 16th most visited in the world.

YouTube, however, is not as big, but Statista estimate that it could reach around 96million by 2028 . . . unless it's banned.

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