Russian citizens don’t use VPN (opens in new window) to bypass restrictions on the country’s internet.
Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, admitted to using a VPN for browsing the internet when he was interviewed on Belarus-1. They aren’t banned in Belarus.
Peskov answered the question of the host of state-owned media outlets if he had installed and used a VPN (opens in new window): “Yes, of course, why don’t, it’sn’t banned.”
Peskov may be correct in the theory that VPNs are not illegal in Russia. However, Russia has been cracking down on VPN providers from abroad over the past few decades and more recently since its invasion in Ukraine (opens in new window) in February this year.
He bypassed his government’s censorship
Peskov does not specify which VPN provider he uses or what kind of content he requires to access the VPN.
Russian authorities have blocked access to Western media outlets such as CNN, Bloomberg, CNN, and BBC in an attempt to combat fake news about the ‘special military operation (opens in new tab). However, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are also blocked in Ukraine.
Peskov could have used a VPN to log into his social media (opens in new window) accounts. However, it is more likely that he does this to view Western media coverage of the invasion.
While Western companies such as Microsoft (opens new tab), Intel (opens new tab), and others have pulled their products from Russia, Russia has been busy blocking VPN services (opens new tab). The Russian news agency Interfax reported back in March that nearly 20 of these services were blocked. The news outlet stated that there would soon be more VPN services blocked.
However, Russia is still in demand for VPNs (opens in new window) as Russian citizens seek to connect to the rest of the internet and access the online services that they have come to rely on.
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