Agency overview
FormedDecember 3, 2008 (2008-12-03)
HeadquartersKitaygorodsky pass [ru], 7/2
Employees3,019 (2017)
Annual budget8.5 billion rubles (US$127 million) (2016)
Agency executive
  • Andrey Yurievich Lipov[1]
Parent agencyMinistry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media,[a] abbreviated as Roskomnadzor (RKN) (Russian: Роскомнадзор [РКН]), is the Russian federal executive agency responsible for monitoring, controlling and censoring Russian mass media. Its areas of responsibility include electronic media, mass communications, information technology and telecommunications, supervising compliance with the law, protecting the confidentiality of personal data being processed, and organizing the work of the radio-frequency service.


In March 2007, the authority—then a subdivision of the Cultural Ministry of Russia called "Russian Federal Surveillance Service for Compliance with the Legislation in Mass Media and Cultural Heritage Protection" (Rosokhrankultura)—warned the Kommersant newspaper that it should not mention the National Bolshevik Party on its pages, as the party had been denied official registration.[2]

The Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications was re-established in May 2008. Resolution number 419, "On Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications", was adopted on February 6, 2008.[3][4]

In December 2019, media criticized the service's choice of experts who are performing analysis of referred publications to assess their compliance with regulations. A number of experts recruited by Roscomnadzor are associated with pseudo-scientific and sectarian movements, including HIV/AIDS deniers, ultra-conservative, anti-vaccination and alternative medicine activists. Three such experts—Anna Volkova, Tatyana Simonova and Elena Shabalina—assessed lyrics of popular rapper Egor Kreed in which they found "mutagenic effect", "satanic influence" and "psychological warfare".[5]

Also in 2019, Roskomnadzor published the first iteration of the "list of information resources who had in the past been spreading unreliable information" including a number of social media groups and media websites accused mostly of incorrectly reporting on a single incident in Dzerzhinsk in June 2019.[6][7]

After nationwide pro-Navalny protests in 2021, Roskomnadzor fined seven social media companies for not removing pro-Navalny videos: "Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki and YouTube will be fined for non-compliance with requirements to prevent the dissemination of calls to minors to participate in unauthorized rallies" it said in a statement published on its website.[8][9]

On 10 March 2022, 820 GB of Roskomnadzor data was leaked and published, with the hacking group Anonymous claiming responsibility. Anonymous engaged in several cyberattacks against Russian websites as the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine occurred.[10][11]

Because of its actions that supported the invasion of Ukraine, Roskomnadzor has been sanctioned by Ukraine, the European Union and Canada.[12]

In February 2023, it was revealed that Belarusian Cyberpartisans had hacked and leaked Roskomnadzor data to journalists. The leak exposed surveillance and censorship programs and ways to discredit journalists.[13][14][15][16][17][18]


Roskomnadzor is a federal executive body responsible for control, censorship, and supervision in the field of media, including electronic media and mass communications, information technology and communications functions control and supervision over the compliance of personal data processing requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation in the field of personal data, and the role of co-ordinating the activities of radio frequency service. It's an authorized federal executive body for the protection of human subjects of personal data.[19] It is also the body administering Russian Internet censorship filters.[20] It also designs and implements procedures of Russian Autonomous Internet Subnetwork, like inventory of Russian Autonomous Systems, alternative DNS root servers in Russian National Domain Name System, controls local ISPs interconnect and Internet exchanges. The main goal is to provide access to Russian Autonomous Internet Subnetwork even after disconnect or isolation from the global Internet (Sovereign Internet Law)

Enforcement actions

A blank Russian-language page which reads: "The access is prohibited. Access to this information resource is restricted under on federal law of 27 July 2006 No. 149 'About the information, informational technologies and about information protection'"
Page of a blocked website

Main article: Russian Internet blacklist

On 31 March 2013, The New York Times reported that Russia was "selectively blocking [the] Internet".[21] In 2014, during the Crimea Crisis, Roskomnadzor had a number of websites criticising Russian policy in Ukraine blocked, including the blog of Alexei Navalny, and Грани.ру [ru].[22] Also, on 22 June 2016 Amazon Web Services was entirely blocked for a couple of hours because of a poker app.[23][24]


Further information: Censorship of GitHub § Russia

In October 2014, GitHub was blocked for a short time. On December 2, GitHub was blocked again for some satiric notes, describing "methods of suicide",[25] which caused major tensions among Russian software developers. It was unblocked on 4 December 2014 and GitHub had set up a special page[26] dedicated to Roskomnadzor-related issues. All content was and remains available for non-Russian networks.

Russian Wikipedia

Main article: Blocking of Wikipedia in Russia

On 5 April 2013, it was confirmed by a spokesperson for Roskomnadzor that Wikipedia had been blacklisted over the article "Cannabis smoking" (Курение каннабиса) on the Russian Wikipedia.[27][28]

On 18 August 2015, an article in Russian Wikipedia about charas (Чарас (наркотическое вещество) (in Russian)) was blacklisted by Roskomnadzor as containing propaganda on narcotics. The article was then rewritten from scratch using UN materials and textbooks, but on 24 August it was included in the list of forbidden materials sent to Internet providers of Russia.[29] As Wikipedia uses the HTTPS protocol to encrypt traffic, effectively all of the site with all language versions[dubious ] of Wikipedia was blocked in Russia on the night of August 25.[citation needed]

On 1 March 2022, Roskomnadzor threatened to block access to Russian Wikipedia over the article "Вторжение России на Украину (2022)" ("Russia's invasion of Ukraine (2022)"), claiming that the article contained "illegally distributed information" including "reports about numerous casualties among service personnel of the Russian Federation and also the civilian population of Ukraine, including children".[30][31] Roskomnadzor made similar threats on 31 March, demanding that Wikipedia remove any information about the invasion that is "misinforming" Russians or it could face a fine of up to 4 million rubles (approximately US$49,000).[32]

The Daily Stormer

In 2017, the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer was briefly moved to a Russian domain name, but Roskomnazdor subsequently acted to remove its access, and the site moved to the dark web.[33]


On 16 April 2018, Roskomnadzor ordered Russian ISPs to block access to the instant messenger Telegram, as the company refused to hand over the encryption keys for users' chats to Russian authorities.[34] The information watchdog applied the method of mass IP address blockings, hitting major hosting providers, such as Amazon, and disrupting hundreds of Russian internet services.[35][34][36] Roskomnadzor had to abandon this approach, but failed to implement any other means to stop Russian users from accessing Telegram. In the end, Roskomnadzor and other government structures set up their own channels in the "outlawed" app. In mid-2020 Roskomnadzor officially gave up on trying to block Telegram.[37]


On 10 March 2021, Roskomnadzor started to "slow down" Twitter for users in Russia, attributing the decision to the platform's failure to remove content deemed illegal by the Russian government.[38] This action occasionally caused Russia's key websites, including Roskomnadzor itself, to stop working. It also led to malfunctions of major commercial services, such as Qiwi payment system, and blocked some users from accessing Yandex, Google, and YouTube. In addition, along with Twitter, Roskomnadzor throttled access to numerous websites with domain names ending in "" ( being among the Twitter domain), thus affecting no fewer than 48 thousand hosts, including GitHub, Russia Today, Reddit, Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, Steam.[37][39]

On 26 February 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Twitter said that access to the platform was being restricted to some users in Russia.[40] On 1 March, Roskomnadzor again slowed access to Twitter, accusing the company of failing to remove what it called "fake posts" about the "special operation".[41]

On 28 April 2022, Twitter was fined 3 million rubles (US$41,000) after being sued by Roskomnadzor for not removing content that included instructions for how to prepare and use molotov cocktails against Russian armored vehicles.[42]


On 4 March 2022, Roskomnadzor said it was blocking access to Facebook over restrictions that were imposed on Russian state media outlets.[43] On 21 March, further action was taken after a court ruled that Meta Platforms was guilty of "extremist activity", affecting access to Facebook and Instagram but not WhatsApp.[44] The ruling came after a Reuters report stated that Meta would allow its users to post messages supporting violence against Russian soldiers and Russian president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine; however, Meta later narrowed its moderation policy to prohibit calls for the death of a head of state.[45]


In April 2022, Roskomnadzor fined Google more than 7 billion rubles (US$94 million), for not removing what it claimed was illegal content from YouTube.[46]


In April 2022, Roskomnadzor drew up a protocol and a court in Moscow fined TikTok two million rubles (US$27,000) for not removing content related to the LGBT community.[47]

On 23 April 2022, Roskomnadzor blocked the online chess website in Russia because of two articles that were critical of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and links to those articles replacing the flags of all Russian users on the website.[48][49]

See also


  1. ^ Russian: Федеральная служба по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций


  1. ^ "Руководитель Роскомнадзора Андрей Юрьевич Липов". Роскомнадзор. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Ъ-Газета - И звать их никак" [Kommersant-Gazeta - And there is no way to call them]. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Current structure of the Government of Russia" (in Russian). Government of Russia. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  4. ^ ""УКАЗ Президента РФ от 12.05.2008 N 724 "Вопросы системы и структуры федеральных органов исполнительной власти""" ["Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 12 May 2008 N 724 "Issues of the system and structure of federal executive bodies""]. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011., p. 2
  5. ^ "Познакомьтесь с людьми, которые решают, какие произведения искусства вредны для ваших детей Как экспертами Роскомнадзора становятся сторонники движений, связанных с сектами и лженаукой" [Meet the People Who Decide Which Works of Art Are Harmful to Your Children]. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  6. ^ "How does Russia fight fake news?". European Audiovisual Observatory. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Перечень информационных ресурсов, регулярно распространяющих недостоверную информацию" [List of information resources that regularly disseminate false information]. Роскомнадзор. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Социальные сети будут привлечены к ответственности за вовлечение подростков в противоправную деятельность" [Social networks will be held accountable for involving teenagers in illegal activities]. Роскомнадзор. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  9. ^ Isachenkov, Vladimir (29 January 2021). "Moscow court puts several allies of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny under house arrest". The Globe and Mail Inc. The Associated Press.
  10. ^ Marsden, Ariella (10 March 2022). "Anonymous hacks Russian federal agency, releases 360,000 documents". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  11. ^ Best, Lorax B. Horne and Emma (10 March 2022). "Release: Roskomnadzor (820 GB)". Distributed Email of Secrets. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  12. ^ "Roskomnadzor | War and sanctions".
  13. ^ "A regulator leak helps us understand how censorship works on the Russian internet". The Bell — Eng. 14 February 2023. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  14. ^ "IStories, Süddeutsche Zeitung: Russia's censorship agency monitors negative comments about Putin and his health online and keeps track of protest attitudes". Novaya Gazeta Europe. 8 February 2023. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  15. ^ "A 'Wild Boar' trained by Yandex A massive data leak reveals the ascent of artificial intelligence in Internet surveillance and suppressing protest in Russia". Meduza. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  16. ^ "Как Роскомнадзор власть Путина бережет". Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  17. ^ Belovodyev, Daniil; Bayev, Anton (9 February 2023). "Inside The Obscure Russian Agency That Censors The Internet: An RFE/RL Investigation". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  18. ^ "RussianCensorFiles - Distributed Denial of Secrets". Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  19. ^ "Постановление от 16 марта 2009 г. №228 О Федеральной службе по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций" [Decree of March 16, 2009 No. 228 On the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media]. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  20. ^ "This is how Russian Internet censorship works A journey into the belly of the beast that is the Kremlin's media watchdog". Meduza. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  21. ^ Kramer, Andrew E. (31 March 2013). "Russians Selectively Blocking Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Нас блокируют. Что делать?" [We are being blocked. What to do?]. 2014.
  23. ^ Eurasiatx (22 June 2016). "Russia blocks Amazon Web Services". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  24. ^ The Moscow Times (23 June 2016). "Russian Media Watchdog Unblocks Amazon Storage Service Website". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  25. ^ Ingrid Lunden (5 December 2014). "To Get Off Russia's Blacklist, GitHub Has Blocked Access To Pages That Highlight Suicide". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  26. ^ "github/roskomnadzor". GitHub. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  27. ^ Sputnik (5 April 2013). "Russia May Block Wikipedia Access Over Narcotics Article". Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  28. ^ RBTH, Interfax (5 April 2013). "Russian media regulator confirms Wikipedia blacklisted | Russia Beyond the Headlines". Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Kremlin moves to ban Russian Wikipedia". Financial Times. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  30. ^ "Moscow threatens to block Russian-language Wikipedia over invasion article". National Post. 1 March 2022. Archived from the original on 1 March 2022. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  31. ^ "Russia threatens to block Wikipedia over Ukraine invasion article: Its communications regulator cited 'illegally distributed information' about casualty figures". 2 March 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  32. ^ Saul, Derek (31 March 2022). "Russia Demands Wikipedia Take Down Information About Ukraine War". Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Daily Stormer: Cloudflare drops neo-Nazi site". BBC News. 27 August 2017.
  34. ^ a b Roth, Andrew (17 April 2018). "Russia blocks millions of IP addresses in battle against Telegram app". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media.
  35. ^ "Russia's federal censor blocks millions of IP addresses in crackdown on Telegram, disrupting Internet services across the country". Meduza. 17 April 2018.
  36. ^ Evdokimov, Leonid (29 December 2018). "Russia vs. Telegram: technical notes on the battle". Chaos Communication Congress.
  37. ^ a b "Slow down, Twitter. Roskomnadzor throttles Twitter over failure to remove 'illegal content'". Meduza. 10 March 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  38. ^ "Russia blocks access to Facebook and Twitter". the Guardian. 4 March 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  39. ^ Евгений Делюкин (10 March 2021). "Роскомнадзор вместе с Twitter замедлил сайты GitHub, Microsoft, Reddit и все остальные с сочетанием в домене" [Roskomnadzor slowed down Twitter together with the sites GitHub, Microsoft, Reddit and all the others with a combination of in the domain]. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  40. ^ "Twitter says its site is being restricted in Russia". Reuters. 26 February 2022.
  41. ^ "Russia reinstates Twitter slowdown, says Meta, Google are 'instigators of war'". Reuters. 1 March 2022.
  42. ^ "Twitter the Latest Social Media Platform Russia Fines Over Illegal Content", Newsweek, 28 April 2022
  43. ^ "Russia blocks Facebook, accusing it of restricting access to Russian media". Reuters. 4 March 2022.
  44. ^ "Russian court bans Facebook and Instagram under 'extremism' law". NBC News. 21 March 2022.
  45. ^ "Russia finds Meta guilty of 'extremist activity' but WhatsApp can stay". Reuters. 21 March 2022.
  46. ^ "РКН оштрафовал Google более чем на семь миллиардов рублей" [RKN fined Google more than seven billion rubles]. Ria Novosti (in Russian). 25 April 2022.
  47. ^ "Moscow court fines TikTok 2 million rubles for LGBT 'propaganda'", Jerusalem Post, 26 April 2022
  48. ^ " Banned By Russia". 24 April 2022. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  49. ^ "Roskomsvoboda". Telegram. Retrieved 22 June 2022.

Further reading