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Russian Media Ordered to Delete Protest Videos Over 'Extremist' YouTube Comments

Donat Sorokin / TASS

A news website in Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg has been ordered to remove videos of protests against plans to build a church due to “extremist” comments.

Mass protests against a controversial plan to build a new cathedral in a popular riverside park gained national attention this month as protesters clashed with vigilantes and riot police. Authorities later suspended construction at the site in order to hold a public poll to determine the cathedral’s final location.

Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor ordered the Yekaterinburg-based e1.ru news website to take down two videos that covered the demonstrations live on YouTube, the news outlet reported Thursday.

The watchdog wanted the footage removed because prosecutors saw comments on the videos that called for “mass riots and extremist activity” as well as public gatherings, according to e1.ru.

“We will delete all comments, thus removing the causes of [Roskomnadzor’s] demands,” said Yevgeny Shurov, the head of e1.ru’s legal department.

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