Authorities in the two pro-Russian separatist territories in eastern Ukraine have announced that they have blocked the Google search engine, accusing it of “promoting” violence against Russians. Google “promotes terrorism and violence against all Russians, especially the population of Donbass […]. We have decided to block Google in the territory” of the Donetsk region, separatist leader Denis Pushilin said in a statement on Friday.

The day before, the leader of the separatist region of Lugansk, Leonid Passechnik, had announced that he had taken the same measure. “War is not just missiles raining down on our cities, but also a swarm of false information that Ukraine sends us. Alas, Google has become their main weapon,” he charged. “We can do without Google. If they get better, if they start respecting people, then we’ll consider restoring the search engine, he added.

The pro-Russian separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine, like Russia, have been seeking to strengthen their control of information since the launch of Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine at the end of February. In Russia, new laws have been passed punishing with heavy prison sentences the publication of what the authorities deem to be “false information” about the army or external military operations.

Russia has blocked major social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The country, which has its own search engine, Yandex, has been striving for years to develop a sovereign Internet, like China.