Blocked social media site doppelganger appears in Ukraine

Blocked social media site doppelganger appears in Ukraine

8 June 2017

Canadian company StartupSoft has launched Ukrainians.co — a new social network bearing a striking resemblance to popular Russian social media site VKontakte, which has been banned in Ukraine.

Solely available in the Ukrainian language, Ukrainians.co already has over 75,000 registered users. Currently the site only exists in a beta version, but once it gains 100,000 users a fuller version will become available. According to StartupSoft, Ukrainians.co is a “Ukrainian social media and networking platform that is set out to fill in the gap left by the ban of VK”.

Two of Ukraine's most popular social networking sites, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, have started 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 demands that Ukrainian internet providers block all Yandex services, including its search engine and antivirus programmes DrWeb and Kaspersky Lab.

Yandex, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki are 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.

Source: Afisha (in Russian)