This means these payment services will no longer be accepted in Russia and their websites, including in Russia, will be blocked by the government’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The blocking of these sites and services will wreak havoc for international customers of Mastercard in Russia for part or all of the year. No longer will they be able to pay their bills, or even access their accounts inside Russia’s borders. Fortunately, a relatively easy solution exists in using a VPN for Russia. Short for virtual private network, these software clients are capable of working around censorship issues.

Internet censorship in Russia

Sites block include those harboring pornography, drug uses, suicide, those that break Russian data retention or surveillance laws, but also those that goes against Russia’s religious, political, and economic ideals. This has included parts of Wikipedia, all sorts of election coverage and propaganda, Bitcoin, Reddit, LinkedIn, DailyMotion, and Telegram.

VPN Statistics

Once mostly used by corporations and conspiracy theorists, the use of VPNs has grown enormously in the past five years. Here are a few statistics on the entry to chew on as you look for your own VPN to use with Mastercard in China.

25% of all Internet users connect via VPN at least once a month. 50% of users connect with a VPN to access restricted content. 31% of users connect with a VPN to maintain anonymity. 35% of people ages 16-24 use a VPN at least once a month. 33% of people ages 25-34 use a VPN at least once a month. The country with the most VPN usage is Indonesia at 38% of Internet users.

Step-by-step Guide to using a VPN in Russia

In order to access in Russia, it is best to download your VPN client of choice before entering the country. Some VPN websites are blocked by the Russian government.

Best VPNs for Russia

Not all VPNs have the capability to work well in Russia. For instance, VPNs for the USA require much less security protocol and redundancies as the US does not practice censorship as Russia choose to.

1IPVanish VPN

It has very strong security protocol including 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and both IP and DNS leak protection. You can run up to five devices through a single license with IPVanish, and it has unlimited server switching as well as a 7-day money-back guarantee. Get it Now


It’s a great VPN for torrents as it has P2P functionality as well as port forwarding. Get it Now


It’s not all a speed game, as it adds in lots of solid security functions including a kill switch – known here as a Network Lock – a strict no-logs policy, and DNS and IP leak protection. Try Now Risk Free