Following Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s ban on the nation’s web hosts from publicly accessing Russia’s news outlets and social media networks on Monday, Russian officials and state-sponsored media contain posted directions on how to circumvent the restrictions.
In response to Ukraine’s ongoing economic sanctions, Russia-24, the nation’s state-owned TV channel, has broadcast directions for how to salvage around the ban, explaining to Ukrainians that “there are may ways to bypass the blocking of websites.”
“One of the easiest [ways] is to download an application that changes the country of your location to the one where the resource is allowed,” one host explained, according to a Russia-24 segment from May 9. “Often, this method gives access to many sites.”
Russian leaders, such as Evgeny Revenko, one of the leaders of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, contain mocked Ukraine, calling the ban on Russian websites “silly and irrational.”
Even though the Russian government condemned the Ukrainian ban, Russia has blocked approximately 5.6 million websites in recent years. Russia’s push to give Ukrainians access to these sites comes not even a year into the nation’s own ban on LinkedIn, the social network for professionals.
The latest Ukrainian sanctions against Russia are piece of an ongoing trend. The sanctions were first introduced in response to Russia’s unrecognized annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, as well as its support of separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Since 2015, Ukraine has imposed sanctions on more than 1,200 people and 468 legal entities in Russia, including several Russian media firms, according to Human Rights Watch.