Russia has been proactive about fining Western companies for breaking its laws. Previously the nation announced it would fine services like WhatsApp and Facebook if data is not decrypted. It even blocked Facebook for violating Federal Law No. 272-FZ after the Russia-Ukraine conflict started in 2022.
This time, Google is being fined a sum of three million rubles, equivalent to US $32,000, as an administrative fine for failing to remove a video published on YouTube supposedly containing inaccurate information about Russia's war specifically in the Kherson region, Ukraine.
The initial court date was set on July 20 at the court of the magistrate of the Tagansky district. The date was postponed at the request of the defendant.
The Google representative wrote she was on vacation in her second request for postponement. The judge proceeded with the ruling after she failed to appear in court.
Judge Timur Vakhrameev announced during the ruling,
"Google LLC was found guilty of committing an administrative offense under Part 2 of Article 13.41 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation ... to impose a penalty in the form of an administrative fine in the amount of 3 million rubles."
The same court also fined Wikimedia Foundation two million Rubles, about $21,400, for failing to remove two articles about Russia's war in Ukraine. According to a RIA Novosti correspondent present in the courtroom, Judge Timur Vakhrameev announced
"To find the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. guilty of committing an administrative offense under Part 2 of Article 13.41 of the Code of Administrative Offenses Russia, and impose a penalty in the form of an administrative fine of 2 million rubles."
The Magistrate's Court of the Presnensky District of Moscow previously surfaced in the news in June for fining Google for non-payment of a fine imposed by the FAS, Russia's federal antimonopoly service. The district courts of Russia are vigilant about Western media's narratives on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.