Russia is preparing for a complete blocking of the American YouTube video hosting in the country by October, the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2023; technical assistance for this after the visit of Xi Jinping to Moscow is provided by 41 specialists from China, the Octagon reported . It is assumed that the PLA of the PRC will provide part of the technology of the "great Chinese firewall", the rest will be based on Russian and Belarusian developments.
The source of information is not specified, but earlier there were official statements about a possible blocking of the site, and YouTube began to slow down in the territory occupied by the Russian authorities "DPR". The head of the legal practice of Roskomsvoboda, Sargis Darbinyan, told The Insider that the message seems to be true, and called the reasons why the Russian authorities did not block YouTube before.
“In my opinion, YouTube has not yet been blocked for two reasons. The first reason is that Google is deeply integrated into the Russian economy, and given that everything runs on infrastructure, blocking YouTube could immediately affect the blocking of a huge number of Android services, the operation of Google applications, mail and cloud storage, which are used by millions of Russian users and entrepreneurs. This will hit the Russian economy hard.
The second reason, in my opinion, is that for a while YouTube was thought to be a platform for distributing government propaganda content. But over the past year, it became clear that it is difficult for propaganda to live there, because YouTube channels of federal channels are blocked, a huge number of videos are being filmed, and bloggers who are recognized as “foreign agents” are gaining popularity. So, it seems to me that the hypothesis that YouTube can be used independently for Gazprom-Media and some pro-Kremlin bloggers has failed, so the Kremlin has already made a political decision. Now it's a matter of technical implementation, which is why the Chinese are needed, who, having vast experience behind them, can explain and tell how to block YouTube so that other Google services remain available.
The only thing that will save Russian business and users now if a decision is made is total VPNization, that is, it is necessary to recruit workable armor-piercing tools that will provide access to blocked resources. Everything else will depend on Google - whether they want to play cat and mouse or give up their attempts to develop in Russia, leaving salvation to the drowning people, who will have to determine their own fate.
An attempt by the Russian authorities to create a domestic analogue of YouTube - RuTube - has not yet been successful. The CEO of Gazprom-Media, Alexander Zharov, admitted that RuTube would not be able to replace American video hosting. Zharov oversees the development of RuTube and earned about 300 million rubles from this project in 2020 alone.