- Some Russian influencers have bid tearful farewells to their fans following their country’s Instagram ban.
- The influencers asked their fans to follow them on other social media platforms like Telegram and VK.
- Some have been slammed for complaining while people are dying amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Some Russian influencers have been left in tears following their country’s decision to ban Instagram from Monday.
Reality TV star Olga Buzova, who has 23.3 million Instagram followers, posted a nearly seven-minute video on Sunday of herself sobbing over the impending loss of her audience.
“I am not afraid of admitting that I do not want to lose you,” she said in Russian.
“I do not know what the future holds. I don’t know,” she continued.
“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,” Buzova added.
The 36-year-old ended her video by saying that she was “going to go and continue crying.” The clip had racked up more than 700,000 views as of press time.
According to a tweet by opposition news channel Nexta TV, another unnamed Russian content creator also cried over the weekend as she said that she was in the “first stage of grief” over the ban.
“Do you think that for me, as an Instagram influencer, this is a source of income?” she said in Russian in a video shared by the channel. “To me, it’s all life. It’s the soul. It’s the one thing with which I wake up, fall asleep. Fucking five years in a row.”
—NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 11, 2022
Other Russian influencers implored their fans to move to Telegram or the VK social media platform to continue following them there.
“Instagram is no more,” wrote Valeria Chekalina in her Instagram bio, alongside an emoji of a crying face. The influencer, who is pregnant and has 10.5 million followers, added that her upcoming content would be posted on Telegram and VK.
While these influencers have received messages of support from their followers, some were also slammed for complaining amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“God, in Ukraine, people are dying, children are in the subway, there is nowhere to sleep, they have lost everything, and you are crying because of Instagram,” one person commented in response to Buzova’s post.
Russia announced on Friday that it would be banning Instagram — a week after it blocked Facebook. This followed the country’s move to declare the platforms’ parent company Meta an “extremist organization” under Russian law.
Reuters reported last week that Meta had created exemptions in its hate speech rules to temporarily allow Facebook and Instagram users to call for violence against Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin.
Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri tweeted on Friday that Russia’s ban would leave 80 million people cut off from one another and “from the rest of the world.”
—Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) March 11, 2022