Russia bans 4 websites critical of government

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's communications agency has banned four websites notable for their criticism of the government, including one run by opposition figure and former chess champion Garry Kasparov.

A communications watchdog said Thursday that, and Yezhednevny Zhurnal (Daily Journal) have carried incitements to unlawful behavior and participation in unauthorized mass gatherings. The ban was requested by the Prosecutor General's Office and Internet providers are now under instructions to implement the block.

Prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalnvy's blog also has been banned over the alleged violation of the terms of the two-month house arrest that he is currently serving.

The move marks the latest crackdown on the increasingly diminishing ranks of independent media in Russia.