Google pulls Putin critic’s ads from YouTube

Google pulls Putin critic’s ads from YouTube
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Google has pulled Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s ads from YouTube ahead of regional elections in Russia, according to media reports.

The pulled videos showed Navalny calling for Russians to demonstrate in the country to protest a plan to raise the nation's retirement age, BBC News reported.

An aide to Navalny accused Google of “political censorship” in removing them, but the company has defended the move as acting in accordance with local law.

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Russian officials reportedly asked Google last month to take down the ads because they violated a law that prohibits campaigning within 24 hours of an election.

"We consider all valid requests from governmental bodies and require advertisers to comply with local law and our general advertising policies," YouTube said in a statement to The Hill.

More than 800 protesters were detained in Russia over the weekend as they demonstrated against the plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 60 for women, according to BBC News.  

Navalny, who attempted to run for president in the 2018 election, was sentenced last month to 30 days in jail after being convicted of breaking public protest laws.

He said at the time that authorities were jailing him to keep him from attending the protests against the raising of the retirement age.

—Updated at 3:54 p.m.