In March-July 2022, Russia ranked second in the world in terms of the number of VPN service downloads, behind only India. RBC writes about this with reference to the statistics of the AppMagic website, which analyzes the mobile application market.
In the first three weeks of July, the number of VPN service downloads in Russia reached 12 million. A year ago, in July 2021, this figure was 2.7 million, and Russia was in 15th place in the world in terms of the number of downloads. In January 2022, the number of downloads reached 2 million, sending Russia to 16th place.
According to the Google Trends service, which analyzes queries on the Internet, the peak of popularity of Russian queries with the word “VPN” fell on March 13–19. After that, interest in VPNs declined, and the next increase in requests occurred on May 29-June 4 and July 17-23.
After the Russian authorities introduced penalties for "discrediting" the Russian army, the blocking of social networking sites and independent media increased significantly. This has led to the rise in popularity of VPN services. However, in early June, Roskomnadzor got to them. The agency began to restrict the operation of services, as the means of bypassing blocking were recognized as a threat.