The social network VKontakte (VK), the second most popular in Russia, has been created to combat Facebook. It is aimed at freedom of expression, although it includes cases of censorship and government arrests. VK seeks to establish itself as the Russian leader against the U.S.-based social network.
Following the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, VK has been put on the front line of the war. Particularly, sharing and disseminating information coming from the Kremlin. VKontakte CEO Vladimir Kiriyenko took the lead on what would be distributed as information on the Russian social network, with the intention of cutting out those war stories that Vladimir Putin’s government labels as fake news.
Infiltrated in the networks
Kiriyenko stated that he supports Vladimir Putin gaining “greater control over the Internet.” These statements have generated controversy due to the relationship between Kiriyenko and the Russian president.
Kiriyenko’s entire family is related to Putin. Sergey Kiriyenko, Vladimir’s father, is considered by many to be a czar of the country’s internal politics. All generations of this family are linked to the Russian government, to such an extent that they are considered to be part of the initiative for the creation of a Russian Internet independent from abroad.
The Kremlin has always been working to have its own Internet infrastructure that would allow the government to isolate the country from foreign countries. From this point on, the government would have greater control over the content published on the Russian network.
Many specialists consider that VK has become a company that is completely controlled by the Russian government.