Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy Gorelkin said that Google can fulfill Kyiv’s request to “derussify” search results. However, according to him, this will not help eliminate the Russian language in Ukraine. The day before, the wife of the President of Ukraine met with Google representatives. Elena Zelenskaya also asked the company to disable the linking of Ukraine in YouTube to the CIS region and to display Crimea in Google Maps as Ukrainian territory.
“Twists” won’t help
State Duma deputy Anton Gorelkin said that the American search engine Google can fulfill the request of the wife of the President of Ukraine to “derusify” search results, but this will not help eradicate the Russian language in Ukraine .
According to the deputy chairman of the lower house of parliament committee on information policy, the Ukrainian side demands that the American company “join the information terror of its citizens”: de-Russify search results and prohibit the use of Russian-language content by YouTube video hosting recommendation algorithms.
“Will Google fulfill Kiev’s demands ? Based on the vectors of American policy, yes: both the output and recommendations will be improved. Will this help eliminate the Russian language on the territory of Ukraine? But I strongly doubt this,”
— the deputy wrote in his Telegram channel.
As the parliamentarian noted, the Ukrainian authorities have been fighting the Russian language for decades: they are removing it from documents, from the media, from education. Despite this, many Ukrainians continue to speak Russian and “resolutely refuse to switch to Surzhik.”
Zelenskaya and Zakharova
The day before, the wife of the President of Ukraine, Elena Zelenskaya, met with Google representatives. She also asked the company to “derussify” their search results for those users who access the site from Ukrainian territory, and to disable the linking of Ukraine in YouTube to the CIS region. The country’s first lady also expressed her wish that Crimea be displayed on Google services as a Ukrainian territory.
“The point was <…> that when looking at Ukraine on the map, we would see it all, including Crimea. About returning to Ukraine – at least in the digital dimension – the achievements of Ukrainian artists,” she wrote in her Telegram channel.
In addition, the wife of President Zelensky offered the company projects for remote cooperation. According to her, Ukrainian students and teachers need a server.
Commenting on Zelenskaya’s appeal, the day before, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry , Maria Zakharova, wondered whether the first lady of Ukraine had asked Google for a special display of Cartier boutiques on maps.
Disputes with Google
In Google Maps, Crimea is currently shown as part of Russia for users from Russia , but for Europeans it is displayed as a disputed territory. In recent years, there have been periodic calls in Russia to block Google in Russia. Basically, this option is proposed by State Duma deputies and senators. Such a proposal was made, for example, by the creator of the Wagner PMC, Evgeniy Prigozhin . He sent a corresponding request to the Prosecutor General’s Office in October last year. Nevertheless, the services of the American company are still available in Russia.
Roskomnadzor introduced measures against Google services last spring. Among other things, the department prohibited advertising the service and its information resources. The RKN resorted to sanctions due to “fake data on the progress of a special military operation” that discredits the Russian Armed Forces.
At the same time, the department noted that YouTube does not fight the dissemination of information from extremist organizations, such as the Ukrainian Right Sector (the organization is banned in Russia).