The demand for VPNs by Russian users continues to snowball due to new restrictions imposed by the government, according to AtlasVPN findings.

The new wave of VPN installs originating from Russia began on 11 March 12022, when the Russian government’s communication agency announced it would block Instagram in Russia starting on 14 March 2022.

On 14 March 2022, VPN installs in Russia reached an all-time high and surged by 11 253%, above the norm.

The ban on Instagram was, supposedly, in response to Facebook’s decision to temporarily allow users in some countries to call for violence against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian soldiers in the context of the invasion.

Russian citizens are turning to Google to inquire about VPNs: using the Google Trends platform, Atlas VPN was able to see the number of “VPN” searches in Russia over the last 30 days.

It appears that the dramatic upsurge in VPN interest began around three weeks ago, on 25 February 2022, hitting a peak on 12 March 2022.