Russia’s Big Action Network Surveillance, Local App Store VPN Downloads Explode

Russia has invaded Ukraine since the end of February, causing Russia to be severely sanctioned by other governments; for the Russian people, what is even more tragic is that the Russian government has been conducting Internet censorship before, and now Russia is subject to international sanctions. The local government has become more stringent with regard to internet censorship. Because of this, some people are now observing a sudden surge in downloads of VPN apps on the local App Store in Russia.

According to a report by data analysis firm appfigures, local VPN app downloads in Russia have grown significantly since the Russian-Ukrainian war broke out on February 24; as of Tuesday, the most popular VPN apps were on the App Store and Google Play Store. The number of downloads on the website has grown by 1200% in one fell swoop.

On March 1st alone, there were nearly 500,000 downloads of VPN apps in Russia. If you look at the average daily downloads in February alone, it was as high as 10,000 times. This phenomenon is because of Russian communication regulations. The agency Roskomnadzor began to vigorously ban local people from using multiple social platforms (eg Facebook, Twitter) and news sites.

For the Russian people, using VPN applications can bypass some regulatory barriers and at the same time achieve the effect of surfing anonymously, which is very important for a group of people who are supervised by the Internet.

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