Ukraine bans its top social networks because they are Russian
AFTER the Maidan revolution in 2014, Ukraine declared that it was reorienting itself towards the West and hoped one day to join the European Union. The country has since made some progress in breaking with its Soviet legacy. Yet the government still sometimes takes steps that seem more appropriate for a budding authoritarian regime than for an aspiring European democracy.
Earlier this week Petro Poroshenko, the president, announced a ban on several Russian-owned internet firms. They included VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki, the two most widely-used social networks in Ukraine; Mail.ru, one of the country’s most popular email services; and Yandex, a major search engine.
The government argues that the measures are a matter of national security, as Russia’s war against Ukraine drags into its third year. “The challenges of hybrid war demand adequate responses,” Mr Poroshenko wrote on his VK page, explaining his decision to close the site as an answer to...Continue reading