President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday decided to block the largest Russian social network Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki, Yandex, and resources.
“We are in a state of cyberwar, in which the Russian hackers were trying to influence the outcome of elections throughout Europe and in the United States. We expect that they will try to do the same in Ukraine”, — said Poroshenko.
The measure, which without notice it was announced on the website of the presidential administration on Tuesday, — the most dramatic step relating to the Internet, which has ever been undertaken in Europe, and he became the object of harsh criticism.
The most popular social media in Ukraine is blocked
Social networks are blocked, starting Tuesday, are among the most visited and popular in Ukraine.
VKontakte is the most popular social network in Ukraine, with 15 million users in the country, it is used more than Facebook.
5 million Ukrainians go every day to the sites of social networks “Classmates”, which specializiruetsya to help users connect with their former classmates.
Russian “Yandex” — the largest competitor Google.
According to Kyiv Post, Poroshenko himself in subscribers in Vkontakte 463 thousand people.
VKontakte is owned by Russian oligarch and friend of Putin, Alisher Usmanov, who with the help of the Russian authorities by force and threats took this social network under his control in 2014.
Tensions in Ukraine
Digital escalation can also be related to the fact that the conflict (in Ukraine) is approaching the crossroads.
According to both American and Russian media in recent weeks with the administration of the trump discussed new proposals with the aim of resolving the conflict. It is not clear yet what they are.
However, the number of casualties at the front grows.
Today’s large-scale ban on the social network introduced only a few days after carrying out in Ukraine of the song contest “Eurovision”, the slogan of which was “Celebrating diversity”.
Ukraine has undergone some very serious hacking attacks from Russia, with the result that, in particular, electricity.
Ukrainian authorities earlier been the target of fierce criticism from human rights organizations for being too far in the fight against Russian propaganda: in particular, for a ban on Russian films, books, writers, and journalists.
The popularity of Poroshenko is at a record low due to the fact that the fight against corruption is not active enough.
Russia: this is political censorship
“Poroshenko is preparing for cyber war”, according to an independent Russian online newspaper Gazeta.ru.
The prohibition of make fun of and compare with similar measures in China and North Korea. Users can easily bypass it using a VPN: that is, to connect through another server to make it impossible to identify a Ukrainian.
In addition to blocking the largest in Ukraine social networks are also banned most Russian TV channels, in particular, RBC, TV Center, NTV, Zvezda, TNT, REN and ORT, as well as media related to RT, and the website of the Russian news Agency “RIA Novosti”.
In addition, expanded sanctions list with the names of Russian individuals and companies.
“This is politically motivated censorship,” said a spokesman for the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova on Tuesday.
According to the newspaper “Ukrainska Pravda” and “Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine”, today the ban has been in Ukraine to sharp criticism — from both Pro-European and Pro-Russian citizens.
“Finally, in our computers and smartphones has come “democracy”, “Europe” and “freedom of speech”, wrote the politician Alexander Rychlicki, a representative of the Pro-Russian party “Opposition bloc”.
“Now blocked available channels of information that the administration does not control”.