Russian holding group Mail.ru will suffer financially in 2017 — to the tune of at least $13 million — as a result of Ukraine's continued blocking of its sites, which include popular social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki.
Two of Ukraine's most popular social networking sites, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, began to be blocked in the country after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed an order imposing sweeping sanctions on Russia on 15 May, including the Mail.ru Group which owns the two platforms.
The controversial order also demanded that Ukrainian internet providers block all Yandex services, including its search engine and antivirus programmes DrWeb and Kaspersky Lab.
Yandex, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki have long been internet leaders in Ukraine in terms of daily audience figures, with the Ukrainian market the second largest after Russia for VKontakte, often dubbed the “Russian Facebook”. Since the sanctions were imposed, Facebook has noted a steep rise in Ukrainian users, while Canadian company StartupSoft has launched Ukrainians.co — a new social network bearing a striking resemblance to VKontakte.
Source: Kyiv Post