Websites blocked in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine

Russia censors Internet access within its borders through several laws and mechanisms. One of the biggest is its single centralized registry of banned URLs, domains, and IP addresses. This list of Holocaust denial has been in place since 2012 and is supplemented daily by a number of government agencies, including Roskomnadzor and the Attorney General’s Office.

Entries in this register of prohibited sites are accessible via the online database restr.rublacklist.net.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, there have been more than 5,000 additions to Russia’s internet deny list. Many of these domains were blocked for hosting adult material or offering online gambling. However, our analysis of blocked domains revealed that there were a significant number of Ukrainian news sites now banned in Russia.

It is clear that the Kremlin wants to control the narrative of its invasion and prevent the Russian people from accessing reports from Ukrainian sources.

The Russian government also blocks Russian news sites whose editorial stance is anti-war.

On March 2, authorities blocked the popular Moscow-based online retail marketplace, TIU.ru, which had replaced its homepage with anti-war content.

A screenshot of Google’s cached version of the TIU.ru homepage before it was blocked.

The next day, the Attorney General’s office began targeting major Western European news sites, including BBC and Deutsche Welle. In the early hours of the morning, he also blocked Meduza, the Latvian-based Russian and English news site.

the Voice of America domain golosameriki.com and a growing number of US-funded projects Radio Libre Liberty areas, including svoboda.org and idelreal.org are also now blocked in Russia.

Since the value of the ruble began to fall following the imposition of strict economic sanctions, Russian authorities have also started blocking exchange and cryptocurrency platforms.

Roskomnadzor also finally confirmed that Facebook and Twitter have been officially blocked in Russia March 4 after limiting access to social media platforms during the week. Internet speeds for users when accessing these sites from Russian IP addresses were so slow that they rendered them unusable even though they were not officially banned at the time.

Although there have been reports that YouTube has also been blocked, this does not appear to have been officially announced or added to the “deny list” at the time of publication. We will continue to monitor this closely and update this page if and when this changes.

As a result, Russians are increasingly turning to VPN services, despite official restrictions on their use in Russia. Daily VPN demand is nearly 700% higher than it was before the invasion.

We will continue to monitor blocked sites in Russia related to the invasion of Ukraine and will update this page regularly.

To see the full list of blocked domains.