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Russia Banned Amazon Content about Drug Use and Suicide Moscow Court Fined tech giant on Tuesday

MOSCOW, Oct 18 - It was the first such punishment for the American tech giant in Russia when a Moscow court said on Tuesday that it had fined Inc (AMZN.O) 4 million roubles ($65,000) for failing to delete prohibited content about drug use and suicide.

As part of what opponents claim is a strategy by the Kremlin to limit the power of Western technology corporations, especially after Moscow put its armed forces into Ukraine, Russia has punished other international internet businesses for failing to remove content.

The Tagansky District Court stated in its announcement that it had penalised Amazon 4 million roubles in two different cases, but it did not disclose which ones. Twitch, an Amazon streaming service, was also assessed an 8 million ruble fine for failing to remove prohibited material.

Interfax news agency reported that Amazon's fines concerned content about the distribution of drugs and information about how to commit suicide.

Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

Twitch has been fined before, for hosting video interviews with Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, that Moscow said contained "fake" information.

On Tuesday, the state news agency TASS reported that one of the two 4-million-rouble penalties for Twitch concerned the broadcast of a new interview with Arestovych, conducted by a Russian lawyer who has been designated a 'foreign agent'.

Twitch did not respond to a request for comment, but TASS quoted Twitch's lawyer as saying that the offending videos had been deleted by the time the cases were considered by the court.

Meta Platforms Inc. (META.O) was found guilty of carrying out "extremist activities" and its social networks Facebook and Instagram were banned, while Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google has been fined for a string of alleged offences and its Russian subsidiary has filed for bankruptcy.

Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor on Tuesday demanded that Google restore access to the YouTube account of the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, Russian news agencies reported.

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