Skip to content

Search the site

Russia threatens Google with 3 million ruble fine

Google faces a $32,000 fine in Russia after government officials claimed it failed to take down Ukraine-related YouTube content

Google is facing a fine from the Russian government over its handling of videos from the Ukraine.

Kremlin news sources report that the web giant has been ordered by a Moscow court to hand over the sum of 3 million rubles (roughly $32,000 according to current exchange rates.)

This after Russian authorities declared that Google had been found guilty of "failing to remove false information" about the country's ongoing attempt to invade Ukraine.

It was reported that the content in question was a number of YouTube videos taken from locations of what Russia calls in "special military operation" being conducted from within the borders of its sovereign neighbor.

The Stack has asked Google whether it has any comment on the matter or if it plans to pay the fine, but the company had yet to respond at the time of publication.

It is doubtful Google could even pay the fine should it for some reason decide to do so.

With both the Russian government and most of the nation's major financial institutions under sanction, funneling 3 million Rubles into the Kremlin's coffers without running afoul of international law would be, to say the least, difficult to manage.

In Alphabet terms, $32,000 will not even qualify as pocket change. In fact, Google turned more profit in the time it took to read that last sentence.

The Silicon Valley web giant reported a profit of $18.4bn and revenues of $74bn in the last quarter alone. Google services accounted for $66.3bn of that total as the search and ads operation continues to carry its parent company as one of the richest brands in the world.

While YouTube is one of the few Western-owned content services to remain operational under the strictly-controlled Russian media landscape, the Kremlin and Google have long been at odds over censorship and other government policies.

In 2022, Google said that it was shutting down its Russian operations following the invasion of Ukraine. Around this same time a number of Kremlin-controlled Russian media outlets were banned from the YouTube service.

More recently, Russia has also threatened fines against Google on claims it violated the nation's anti-monopoly laws regarding the video hosting market.