Ukraine bans popular Russian social networks Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki. The news of the week in Ukraine is the ban over hundreds of Russian websites and online services, including giant social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki.

No more contacts… VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Mail.ru, Yandex to be blocked in Ukraine

All hell broke loose on Monday 15 May when Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko announced new sanctions against Russia. 468 companies and 1228 individuals are on the updated list.

Social networks VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki (OK) are two services that are extremely popular in Ukraine.

Yandex, a search hub favoured by many (Russian analogue of Google) and a free email service, as well as another online e-mail giant, Mail.ru, are also on the list of banned websites. Both companies are not only providers of electronic mail storage but also offer digital wallets and other services. People’s user accounts at various websites are linked to their habitual email addresses. For instance, on Elena’s Models many Ukrainian women have addresses from Yandex or Mail.ru.

Anti-virus software by Kaspersky is another victim of new sanctions. The same fate faces Kinopoisk, an anthology of movies and actors.

The news caused a giant uproar in the Russian-speaking segment of Internet.

VK set a new record on the day following the announcement, with 18 million visitors logging in to check their accounts. Previously the record for Ukrainian visitors was sitting at 16 million daily.

Locals are quickly learning how to get around blocks using VPN. Internet providers aren’t happy either, with one company stating they have no necessary equipment to disallow users visiting certain websites.

On 18 May president Poroshenko explained the reasons why such a decision was made, the video is available on his Facebook. He also explained what should happen for the blocks to be taken off. President himself deleted his pages in banned OK and VK networks. According to the presidential order, the bans should last 3 years. The ruling became effective on 17 May after its official publication.

Video: Why Ukraine blocks VK, OK, Mail.ru and Yandex?

Anna Shamanska explains the logic behind the decision that shocked the nation.

 

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Ann
Guest

In my opinion, it’s not the best decision. I’m from Russia, but have relatives from Ukrain. We used some of above mentioned social networks to communicate, but now we have to find other ones. I think it’s rather inconvenient. Moreover, some people earned money in these social networks, and now their business is ruined.

Stacy
Guest

I think it’s so stupid to block these social networks for Ukrainian people. We should decide what we can or can’t do on the Internet by ourselves. Not by the government!

Anastasia
Guest

It’s really a pity, ordinary people suffer from the government’s games. I don’t know why such historcally connected nations are enemies now, but we can see the results. They are not comforting. Maybe Ukrainians and Russians have deals through Mail.ru and VK and we can only submit how difficult a cooperation between two countries became.

Galatea
Guest

Grrrr… Ridiculous! Even I can write messages through this awfull block with Chrome extension. It makes for me no difference if there is a block or there isn’t. But what is the purpose of that law if anyone can simply neglect it.

Kate
Guest

To tell the truth, these blocks are illogocal. Firstly, people still have opportinities to be online in Vkontakte. Secondly, there is no point in doing it because people communicate with each other on various social nets, such as instagram.

tillidia
Guest

Firstly, when one door closes, another opens. The whole world uses Facebook. There are many more alternatives. Secondly, social networks take a lot of time from us, which can be spent more productively. I feel pity for older people who used Odnoklassniki, it will be difficult for them to get used to new networks, but here is an advice to their grandchildren – teach your elderly relatives how to use other ways of communication.

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