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Apple’s App Store goes down in Russia, is only accessible via VPN
Users of Apple devices in Russia report that the App Store has crashed, says the online publication Vc.ru.
Reportedly, Apple users can’t download or update mobile apps on the networks of certain operators, including Rostelecom, MegaFon, Yota, and MTS. Users also note that the App Store is only accessible through a VPN (virtual private network) connection.
Apple’s Russian website hasn’t reported any problems with accessing the App Store and says that all systems are working as per normal.
On September 3, Russia’s federal censor (Roskomnadzor) blocked six VPN providers, including the popular services NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Afterward, the online games World of Tanks and World of WarShips crashed, as did the streaming services Twitch and FlashScore, the classified advertisements website Avito.ru, and the torrent client BitTorrent.
In recent weeks, Roskomnadzor has blocked Alexey Navalny’s mobile app in Russia, as well as the website for his team’s “Smart Vote” initiative. The censorship agency also threatened Apple and Google with administrative and criminal prosecution for failing to remove the “Navalny” app from their stores. In addition, Roskomnadzor demanded that Apple, Google, Cloudflare, and Cisco prevent Navalny’s app and the “Smart Vote” website from bypassing Russia’s Internet blocks.
IT specialists claim that on September 8, Roskomnadzor began testing its ability to block public DNS (Domain Name Service) servers run by Google and Cloudflare using Internet isolation equipment.
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