News from Russia

" … legislation, which was adopted by the State Duma on Wednesday [18 Oct 2023], would require restrictions to be imposed against any websites or apps either collecting money for a side of the conflict Russia is fighting or spreading information about the ways to provide such funding to Russia’s enemies.

The legislation will be applicable if Russia is engaged in an armed conflict or conducts an anti-terrorist operation or is involved in any other action requiring the deployment of its military forces.

The bill has not yet been passed by the Russian Federation Council – the upper house of the nation’s parliament – or signed by the president."

(My emphasis)

I believe there are threads on this forum which could fall under this legislation and thereby incur restrictions on the site within the Russian Federation if it passes into law and the Prosecutor General’s Office then demands such restrictions.

Edit: Many of you will find that your governments have blocked access to this information source, as linked.


The Russian government already blocked many web sites since the start of Putin’s war. Does this new law mean they will block video sites and social media as well (like Youtube, Facebook, perhaps even Telegram)?
I suppose that this could still be circumvented by using a VPN.

The Russian State Duma already passed many laws that don’t seem to make sense, such as approving Putin’s annexation of Ukrainian oblasts that the Russian army doesn’t even fully control (that happened about 1 year ago). Now nobody in Russia can tell where the borders of Russia (supposedly) are exactly.

Putin is making such a mess of Russia, but he’s doing his best to cover it up domestically. It seems he is prepared to turn Russia into North Korea 2.0 to ensure he stays in power.


I make no comment on the report; I simply pass it on to those who may not have the information or access to it, since it could affect the availability of OGS in the RF down the line.

It’s possible you can find out more about the matter on news websites which are not blocked in the UK and EU.


I don’t remember seeing threads on this forum which “spread information about the ways to provide fundings to Russia’s enemies”. Perhaps they exist but there are probably not so many of them.

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See, for example posts on the thread beginning here:

I doubt the legislation, if passed, will require there to be “many” calls for support. In any case, as I have understood the report, it would require those calls to be brought to the attention of the Prosecutor General’s Office and for them to think it was important enough to take action.

The report specifically mentioned “‘World of Tanks’ – a popular war-themed multiplayer online game”, which “the deputy head of the Russian State Duma’s information policy committee, Anton Gorelkin” had referred to.

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Oh I had forgotten about this one. Well, if the forum is blocked by the Russian governement because of a few old threads that no one is reading anymore, that would be silly.


Again, I stress, I am not passing comment on the news, just passing on the facts.

If no one actually reads those threads, why not delete them just in case? I understand that the site administration does not care about possible blocking by the Russian Federation, but it cannot be denied that these topics are very provocative and no one knows how and what their presence on the forum may turn out tomorrow.

It’s nice that after a total reading time of 7 minutes on this forum you already care so much about it. We surely must be a forum with astoundingly interesting content.


I don’t see any reason to let the Russian governement dictate what should be allowed on this forum. If that were the case, I’d surely go somewhere else.


Let’s look at the question from a slightly different angle. So…

In the blue corner of the ring are a number of players who live in Russia and may lose the opportunity to play on the OGS. If this happens, it will not only be a loss for players from Russia - the OGS community will also lose its own part, even if only a small one.

In the red corner of the ring is an old, in your own words, long unread topic, which may cause a break in contact between players from Russia and the OGS.

So what’s more important? Are the players people or ambitions?

Like what? Vladimir Solovyov suggesting to nuke the OGS servers?

Not at all. As a Go player, you should know that surprises happen. I am not asserting anything or hinting at anything.

Even if that thread were deleted, someone else might make a new post that mentions aid to one of “Russia’s enemies” (I’m not up to date which countries are even on that list). Should OGS start censoring such content?

Next thing you know, China government starts to block sites for supporting Taiwan, Azerbaijan government for supporting Armenians, Turkey government for supporting Kurds, Iran government for supporting Israel and who knows what else. Should OGS start abiding to all of such restrictions to prevent being blocked anywhere?


My personal opinion is that staying out of politics is the best strategy for the OGS. But this is just my opinion, nothing more. :slightly_smiling_face:

Do you mean that OGS should not allow its forum users to talk about anything related to politics anywhere in the world?

To me that sounds like asking for a major change in OGS’ Terms of Service.


In no case. However, don’t you think that discussions and fundraising are somewhat different things?

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AFAIK that thread was to raise funds for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, not military aid.
Is Putin going to block sites for even that?

Edit: I’m sorry, my memory was wrong. That thread was also giving a link to raise funds for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Still, there are many channels on Youtube raising funds for the UAF. If Putin really want to double down on this, I suppose he should block Youtube rather than small sites such as OGS. Does Putin really expect Youtube to take down all those channels to avoid being blocked in Russia? Would it be realistic for Russian Youtube viewers to expect Youtube to obey to Putin so they can keep using it without VPN?

From the OP’s quote of RT, I understand that the law under consideration of the Russian State Duma is not distinguishing between funding humanitarian aid and the military. So I suppose for Putin it’s a moot point which it is exactly, and he just wants to silence anyone who supports Ukraine.

And note that OGS itself is not raising funds for either humanitarian or military aid. OGS itself is only expressing a more passive support of standing by Ukraine in this conflict (as in the Ukrainian people who are suffering directly from Putin’s invasion).

As for OGS users, they are free to post what they want in the forums as long as they abide by OGS’ rules of discourse (where I’m assuming that “national laws” means laws of the United States where OGS is based, not national laws in all of the ~200 countries in the world).


Personally, I’m not in favour on many restrictions on freedom of expression. I feel lucky to live in a country (the Netherlands) that does not suppress media or people that oppose and criticize our own government or the governments of other countries.

I think free media and political opposition self-censoring themselves to appease people in power only helps aspiring autocrats to consolidate their power and weaken media and opposition further.
It’s no surprise that silencing opposition voices and replacing them by state media are the first things that aspiring autocrats do when they get in power, and Putin is a perfect example of this.

OGS is not a medium, but I would still call the OGS forums sort of a social medium (albeit a small one). Luckily OGS is not based in Russia, so it’s free to defy Putin’s attempts to silence any opposition. I definitely hope the OGS forums stays a platform where people can discuss politics freely (while keeping the discussion civilised).


I’m reminded of the time when G.K. Chesterton started writing his weekly column for the Illustrated London News. The editors told him he could write about anything but politics and religion, and he responded by saying something to the effect that those were the only things worth writing about and proceeded to write as he pleased for the next 33 years.

Edit: typo