Members of the radical group Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) practice street fighting in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014.
Twitter is blocking tweets that stem from an Ukrainian ultra-nationalist group for users in Russia.
Numerous Russian users report seeing a message that warns of a “withheld account” in place of tweets under the Twitter account @PravyjSektorRus's page.
By simply changing the country listed in our profile settings, Mashable was able to confirm that the account is indeed blocked in Russia.
What the Twitter account looks like from the United States:
What it looks like when the country is changed to Russia:
When users try and view the account in a third-party tool like Tweetbot, they get a stream of messages about the censored tweets.
What the @PravyjSektorRus account looks like in Russia (Tweetbot) pic.twitter.com/wf52a9d9GV
— Ilya Mouzykantskii (@ilyamuz) May 19, 2014
Try to follow the account from Russia, and you'll see this: "Your account may not be allowed to perform this action. Please refresh the page and try again."
The account under fire is managed by Ukraine's "Right Sector" (Pravy Sektor) nationalist political party, which is striving for legitimacy ahead of the May 25 presidential elections after playing a pivotal role in Kiev's Euromaidan protests.
While Russian state media have accused the group of largely consisting of right-wing neo-Nazis and fascists responsible for violence against Russian speakers in southern and eastern Ukraine, no known human rights violations have been traced back to the group.
Recent tweets sent from the account included a call to join the group, a link to a news website, and a tweet about the Crimean prosecutor who has fans in the world of Japanese anime.
Twitter has yet to respond to Mashable's request for comment, but explains its thinking in a post on Twitter's support page, which can be reached after clicking "learn more" on the blocked tweet.
"Many countries, including the United States, have laws that may apply to tweets and/or Twitter account content," Twitter states in the post. "In our continuing effort to make our services available to users everywhere, if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to reactively withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time."
"We strongly believe that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact, and that the tweets must continue to flow," the message adds.
In recent days, a Russian official had threatened to ban Twitter entirely if it refused to delete tweets that violated Russian lawIn recent days, a Russian official had threatened to ban Twitter entirely if it refused to delete tweets that violated Russian law, according to the Russian news site Izvestia.
“Consistently refusing to fulfill our requirements, they are specially creating conditions in which blocking of this resource in our country becomes almost inevitable,” Maxim Ksenzov, the deputy head of Russia’s federal telecommunications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said. He warned it could happen “tomorrow.”
In the interview on Izvestia, the official spoke of an unnamed account that “published monstrous things" and called for the overthrow of the political regime and the destruction of capitalism.
Facebook and YouTube “listen to us and to periodically remove illegal content,” the official added.