Russia’s state-owned telecom giant, Rostelecom, is blocking access to the independent news site, MariUver. The website’s readers in Moscow and the Republic of Mari El have complained that the site was not available to Rostelecom’s clients. At the same time, MariUver was available to clients of other ISPs.
When attempting to access the site, Rostelecom’s customers saw an announcement that stated that MariUver’s domain was included in Russia’s list of banned websites. Later, however, the announcement was changed to state that the website was unavailable for technical reasons, and that “engineers were working on the issue.”
There was no information available why Rostelecom was blocking our website. We regard the company’s measures as a violation of the constitutional right of the citizens of the Russian Federation to free access to information and a violation of the principle of free speech. This is not the first time when access to MariUver has been restricted.
Uralistica reported that the reason for the inability of Rostelecom’s customers to access MariUver was that a blog hosted at wordpress.com had been added to the list of banned websites, and as a result, access to all websites under the domain, including MariUver, were blocked in certain regions of Russia.
MariUver is the most popular website for independent news and opinion about the situation in Russia’s Republic of Mari El. The website regularly publishes articles and commentary that is critical of the republic’s current leadership as well as information about the culture and language of the Finno-Ugric Mari nation.