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YouTube, Facebook Block East Ukraine Separatist Accounts

Valentin Sprinchak / TASS

YouTube and Facebook have blocked several pages linked to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Friday as fears in the West of a Russian offensive against Kyiv continued to soar.

Several YouTube channels run by separatist authorities in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic (LNR) and Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) were inaccessible. 

The Lugansk People's Republic said on its official news website that its channels had been blocked "without explanation." 

The channel of the Lugansk information center was inaccessible on Friday and a service message said it "has been terminated for violating YouTube's community guidelines."

​​Several other separatist channels carried the same message, including those belonging to the ministry of information and the "people's militia" of the Donetsk stronghold.

The video hosting platform hasn’t yet commented on the blockings. 

Also on Friday, Facebook blocked the pages of the DNR and LNR’s “people’s militias.”  

Ukraine has been at war with the DNR and LNR since 2014, a conflict that has claimed over 14,000 lives. Western countries accuse Russia of supporting the rebels with arms, troops and finances, claims that Moscow consistently denies.

The West also claims that Russia is planning to invade its pro-Western neighbor with over 100,000 of its troops stationed near the border. Russia has denied planning to invade, instead accusing the United States and NATO of increasing tensions and demanding “security guarantees” in eastern Europe.

AFP contribited reporting.

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