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KIEV, May 17. /TASS/. On Tuesday, May 16, Russia’s VKontakte social network set a new traffic record in Ukraine as 18,000,000 unique users were registered, the network said in a statement published in its official Ukrainian group.
"VK (VKontakte) has set a new record in Ukraine - 18,000,000 unique users in 24 hours, which is 2,000,000 more than the previous record. Yesterday, our social network became the most popular internet resource in the country," the statement reads.
On May 16, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed an expanded blacklist consisting of 1,228 Russian individuals and 468 companies. This time, a number of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) members, judges of the Russian Constitutional Court, journalists and TV channels were added to the blacklist.
Besides, sanctions were imposed on Russia’s VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks, as well as the Mail.ru and Yandex internet companies.
The banned Russian internet companies have a significantly large audience in Ukraine. Yandex claims to have as many as 11,000,000 Ukrainian users, while about 25,000,000 Ukrainian citizens use the Mail.ru platforms for communication.
A total of 16,000,000 people in Ukraine use Vkontakte, while the number of Odnoklassniki users totals around 9,500,000.
Poroshenko said that he would delete his personal accounts on the banned social networks and called upon Ukrainians to follow his example. Meanwhile, many international organizations have accused the Ukrainian president of violating freedom of speech.