In Russia, there is a growing battle for internet freedom. Antony Rudkovsky, a young programmer from Nizhny Novgorod, started making Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) as a teenager to listen to international music. His passion turned him into an award-winning developer. At 18, he won a prize for making a VPN that bypassed Russian censorship, showing the fight between programmers and the government over controlling information.

The Russian government blocks foreign media and social platforms through Roskomnadzor, its media watchdog, citing national security. In response, more people use VPNs, especially after Russia’s actions in Ukraine, seeking unfiltered news. The government fights back by banning VPN advertisements and trying harder to shut down these digital pathways. Still, developers share knowledge globally and improve methods to stay ahead of censorship. This battle reflects tech communities’ determination to keep information flowing despite government restrictions.