Russian Websites Phase Out VPN Information Ahead of Upcoming Ban

  • Russian websites are proactively removing content related to VPN services ahead of a March 1, 2024, law banning the popularization of such services, reflecting efforts to comply with tightening internet control measures.
  • The upcoming regulation has prompted adjustments in content management, including the elimination of VPN information by platforms like 4PDA and Skillfactory, to mitigate legal risks and potential fines up to 4 million rubles.
  • This legislative move is part of a broader strategy by the Russian government to regulate online content and digital expression, aligning with other efforts to exert greater control over the internet landscape within Russia.


As the March 1, 2024, deadline approaches, Russian websites are swiftly acting to comply with the impending legislation that prohibits the promotion of VPN services across the country.

This move comes in anticipation of a law aimed at curbing the dissemination of tools that facilitate unrestricted internet access, thereby tightening the state’s control over the digital information landscape.

The forthcoming ban has prompted a notable shift in content management strategies among Russian web portals.

Leading up to the enforcement date, several sites have begun the process of removing content related to VPN services, including instructional materials on network settings and recommendations for circumventing internet restrictions.

Among those making early adjustments are the popular tech forum 4PDA and the corporate publication Skillfactory, which have eliminated all VPN-related information from their platforms.

The decision to proactively erase such content reflects a broader trend of caution within the Russian digital community.

According to sources cited by the Kommersant newspaper, the search traffic directed towards VPN-related materials for most large web entities constitutes only a minor fraction of their total traffic.

Nonetheless, the legal community advises that early compliance with the new regulations is prudent. The risks associated with hosting prohibited content are unpredictable, with potential consequences ranging from website blocking to substantial fines of up to 4 million rubles.

This legislative move is part of a larger effort by the Russian government to regulate the digital domain more strictly.

It aligns with other regulatory proposals, such as the bill targeting advertising by entities designated as foreign agents, underlining a consistent push towards greater control over the information accessible within Russia’s digital borders.

The response from Russian websites highlights a strategic pivot to mitigate legal risks and adapt to the evolving regulatory environment.

As the deadline for the VPN ban draws closer, the landscape of online content in Russia is set to undergo significant changes, marking a new chapter in the country’s internet governance.


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