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    VPN use in Russia increased by 167% in 2022

    Russian authorities have attempted to isolate their nation’s internet from the rest of the world since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Hundreds of websites have already been blocked, including two major social media platforms – Instagram and Facebook.

    Russians are turning to VPNs to bypass the country’s tightening internet controls.

    The recently updated VPN Adoption Index by Atlas VPN reveals that VPN downloads in Russia grew from 12.59 million in 2021 to 33.54 million in 2022, representing a YoY growth of 167%.

    In 2020, only 4.9 million downloads originated from Russia, which put the VPN adoption rate at 3.37%, ranking the country at the 55th spot globally.

    While last year, nearly a quarter (22.98%) of the country’s population installed VPN services on their devices, with Russia becoming the 8th most popular market for VPNs.

    The most significant wave of VPN installs from Russia began on March 11, 2022, when the Russian government’s communication agency announced it would block Instagram and Facebook after finding Meta Platforms Inc. “extremist.”

    On March 14, 2022, the number of VPN installs originating from Russia increased by 11,253% above the norm.

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