Roskomnadzor Cracks Down on VPN Advertising, Blocks 82 Websites

In a significant move aimed at tightening internet regulations, Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal executive body responsible for overseeing the media, has blocked 82 websites for promoting or advertising VPN services. This crackdown follows the enforcement of a ban on the popularization of VPN services in Russia, effective from March 1, 2024. VPN services, which allow users to access the internet anonymously and bypass regional restrictions, have come under scrutiny for enabling access to blocked content within the country.

Since the ban’s implementation, Roskomnadzor has been actively monitoring the web for violations, issuing 628 notices to site owners to remove content related to VPN services or proxy servers. Out of these, 546 complied by deleting the specified materials, highlighting a significant response to the regulatory demands. However, 82 sites failed to adhere to these requests, leading to their blockade.

The focus of this enforcement has primarily been on social networks and specialized platforms that facilitate or encourage the use of VPNs for circumventing internet restrictions. This measure is part of a broader effort to control internet access and prevent the dissemination of what the government considers illegal content.

Violations of this policy attract hefty penalties, ranging from 800 thousand to 4 million rubles. For repeat offenders, the law stipulates even more stringent penalties, including turnover fines. This move underscores the government’s firm stance on regulating internet access and its commitment to enforcing laws designed to govern digital spaces strictly.

The implications of such actions by Roskomnadzor are far-reaching, affecting not just the operators of the blocked sites but also users who rely on VPN services for various reasons, including privacy concerns and accessing geo-restricted content. This development marks a significant step in Russia’s ongoing efforts to regulate and control the digital environment within its borders.

Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of