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The Escort, the Oligarch, and the Kremlin Bigwig

Navalny in trouble with Russian government and Google over video supposedly capturing a hush-hush meeting on a yacht.

14 February 2018

Google has told Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny it may block his YouTube channel, after a Russian court issued an injunction following a complaint by billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

 

The Krasnodar region court ordered Navalny’s team to remove seven YouTube videos and 14 Instagram posts by today, saying they breached Deripaska’s right to privacy, The Moscow Times reports. Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor then blacklisted the materials.

 

The materials show Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko meeting on Deripaska’s yacht in 2016, Navalny says.

 

Also with them is a woman calling herself Nastya Rybka, whose Instagram posts alerted Navalny to the meeting, he says in a video that is still accessible on YouTube.

 

 

Navalny says Rybka – whose real name is Anastasiya Vashukevich, according to the Guardian – claimed in a book she published to have met Deripaska and other oligarchs while working as an escort.

 

According to Navalny, the video shot by Rybka shows her, Deripaska, and Prikhodko talking about how the deputy prime minister met Victoria Nuland, at the time the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and a frequent critic of Russia.

 

The Guardian writes that Navalny claims Deripaska “was briefing Prikhodko on information on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign that he had received from Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager,” although he offers no proof of this.

 

The videos prove that by accepting a trip on Deripaska’s yacht, Prikhodko had in effect been bribed by the former, Navalny says in a lawsuit against Rozkomnadzor, as reported by CrimeRussia.com.

 

Deripaska denies the bribery allegations and accuses Navalny of trying to damage his reputation.

 

Roskomnadzor ordered YouTube’s parent Google and Facebook-owned Instagram to delete the materials or face further action, the Guardian writes.

 

 

  • This is not Navalny’s first attempt to link Russia’s business leaders to the political elite. Last year a court ordered him to retract allegations that billionaire Alisher Usmanov donated real estate to a fund benefiting Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, The Moscow Times reported.

 

  • “Nastya Rybka” was one of four sexily-dressed women who entered the Navalny organization’s Moscow headquarters last September and were filmed by a crew from Russia’s Life News, who “just happened” to be passing by with professional equipment, Navalny says in his YouTube video.

 

  • Deripaska has also lodged a privacy case against Rybka/Vashukevich, which is scheduled to be heard on 1 March,according to The Moscow Times, citing Krasnodar region’s Ust-Labinsk court documents.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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