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Apple and Google accused of “political censorship” after companies removed app made by imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny Under pressure from the Kremlin.

The app, which encouraged Russians to strategically vote for opposition candidates most likely to defeat members of Putin’s ruling party, disappeared from companies’ stores on Friday – the same day as the country’s parliamentary elections. Voting took place.

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Navalny’s close associate and adviser Ivan Zhdanov accused the companies of a series of “shameful acts of political censorship”. Tweets Friday.

“Russia’s authoritarian government and propaganda will be thrilled,” he said.

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Zhdanov too share What they said was an email from Apple about the removal of the app.

“We are writing to inform you that your application will be removed from the Russia App Store because it contains content that is illegal in Russia,” Apple reportedly said, calling Navalny’s group “extremist” by the Russian government. group was considered.

Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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The two companies were under heavy pressure from Russian authorities to remove the app ahead of Friday’s elections. The government argued that refusing to do so would amount to foreign interference in Russian elections.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also summoned US Ambassador John Sullivan on the issue, Associated Press informed of.

According to the outlet, Russian police also visited Google’s offices in Moscow on Monday to enforce a court order blocking Navalny’s app.

Navalny has been in prison since February, when he returned to Russia from Germany The poison they attributed to Vladimir Putin. The US and the European Union have also accused Putin of an assassination attempt, but the Russian leader has denied it.

This is not the first time that Apple and Google have been accused of betraying pro-democracy activists and duping authoritarian governments.

In 2019, Apple Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong remove two apps used to track and dodge police – Just a day after China’s state-run People’s Daily newspaper accused the company of being an “ally of the rioters”.

Google, meanwhile removed a game From its Chinese Google Play store which allowed users to play as Hong Kong defender. The search giant said that “The Revolution of Our Times” violated its content rules because it depicted “sensitive incidents”.

To read more from the New York Post, Click here.