Russia has been under severe sanctions from other governments since it invaded Ukraine last week. Unfortunately, the situation for those living under Russian territory is about to get worse, as the local government has censored the internet. As a result, VPN apps are now among the most downloaded apps on the Russian App Store.
As reported by analyst firm AppFigures, the number of VPN app downloads in Russia has increased significantly since the dispute began on February 24. On Tuesday, the most popular VPN apps saw a more than 1,200% increase in downloads across both the App Store and Google Play in Russia.
On March 1 alone, VPN apps saw nearly half a million downloads in Russia, up from an average of 10,000 downloads per day last month. The figures are the result of local communications regulator Roskomnadzor blocking access to several social media and news websites on Russian internet service providers.
With VPN apps, users can bypass some of these blocks while surfing the web anonymously, which is important when dealing with a government that constantly controls what people can and cannot do. not access.
The Russian government confirmed on Friday (via The Guardian) that it banned Facebook and Twitter, which are no longer available there, for its citizens. While Roskomnadzor claims the platforms were banned because they violated Russian law, the ban is clearly an attempt to censor the internet and prevent people from accessing information critical of Russia due to the war in Ukraine.
It should be noted that while some reports on Twitter indicate that the App Store and Google Play have also been taken down in Russia, 9to5Mac was able to confirm from independent sources that both platforms are still available in the country (at least for now).
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