In view of the forthcoming elections in March 2018, the Russian parliament proposed an amendment to ban VPN services, as well as the use of proxies. Putin has just signed this amendment into the law.
Russian Internet users will no longer be able to access certain content, especially content of “extreme character” according to the government, which is considered critical for the current president. All chat applications will also have to force users to enter their mobile number to allow their use from the 1st January of 2018. This includes chats via Facebook and Apple.
Thus the government will be able to identify the Internet users who make harmful remarks against them on these applications and sites. they will also censor pages, articles, and sites more easily.
The goal is to have no external involvement in the upcoming presidential election. Citizens will have more difficulty to manifest if the police can trace them via online chats.
Edward Snowden who resides in Russia has denounced this breach of rights and freedom.
This may also be a hassle for hackers in the country.