Some of Russia’s most famous influencers have broken down in tears after learning Vladimir Putin is instituting an Instagram ban amid his country’s ongoing war with Ukraine.
The ban went into effect Monday, just days after the Kremlin claimed the social media site was causing an “incitement of violence against Russians.”
Before having their accounts restricted, popular public figures wept at the news in their final video posts, with one saying it felt like her life “was being taken away” from her.
“I am not afraid of admitting that I do not want to lose you,” Russian reality TV star Olga Buzova, 36, told her 23.3 million fans, according to Insider.
“I do not know what the future holds,” she further sobbed in the seven-minute video. “I don’t know. I just shared my life, my work, and my soul. I did not do this all as a job for me — this is a part of my soul. It feels like a big part of my heart and my life is being taken away from me.”
Elsewhere, an unidentified Russian beauty blogger apparently also wept at the news of the ban, with the footage posted to Twitter by news channel Nexta TV.
“To me, it’s all life. It’s the soul. It’s the one thing with which I wake up, fall asleep. F–king five years in a row,” she purportedly stated in her native Russian.
The brunette was promptly slammed on Twitter, with one critic responding: “Ukrainians are paying with their lives, while Russians thought they don’t need pay anything?”
However, the criticism hasn’t stopped other starlets from also moaning about the end of Russia’s Instagram era.
Valeria Chekalina — an influencer with 10.5 million followers — shared a crying face emoji to her profile and told fans to find her on other apps, including Telegram.
Liza Lukasheva — who boasts 1 million followers — shared a short video bidding farewell to her fawning fans.
The Instagram ban was announced Friday after Meta — which owns both Instagram and Facebook — announced a new policy applying only to Ukraine that allows calls for violence in posts about the Russian invasion into the country.
The Instagram ban comes amid Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.
However, it’s likely that Putin also wants to limit citizens from outside influences and dissenting voices that can be found on the site.
Earlier this month, some of Russia’s elite Instagram users — including the daughter of oligarch Roman Abramovich and the daughter of Kremin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. — spoke out against the invasion of Ukraine on the app.
Given their close ties to Putin, the president was likely aware that the app was being used to post anti-war sentiments.
The ban was announced Friday, with Russia’s communications regulator telling users in an email to move their photos and videos from Instagram before they are no longer able to access them, while also suggesting they switch to the country’s own “competitive internet platforms.”
“We need to ensure the psychological health of citizens, especially children and adolescents, to protect them from harassment and insults online,” regulator Roskomnadzor said.
The head of Instagram said the block will affect 80 million users on the platform.