Support The Moscow Times!

Russia to Launch Own TikTok Developed With Putin's Alleged Daughter

Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Russia's leading media holding, which is controlled by state energy giant Gazprom, will launch an app similar to the video-sharing social network TikTok, the group's CEO said Wednesday.

The Kommersant business daily cited Gazprom-Media CEO Alexander Zharov as saying the holding had purchased a service called "Ya Molodets" ("I am great").

Zharov said the app was developed with the support of the Innopraktika foundation, an organization run by Katerina Tikhonova — one of President Vladimir Putin's alleged daughters.

Gazprom-Media will "use the project's software to speed up the creation of a new video service for Russian bloggers," Zharov said, adding that it will be launched within two years. 

The app will support the sharing of short vertical videos, similar to the Chinese social network TikTok. 

Zharov took charge of Gazprom-Media earlier this year after leaving his post as head of the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor that was behind the failed blocking of the Telegram messaging service. 

Gazprom-Media is one of Russia's largest media organizations, owning some of its most-watched television channels and a range of radio stations. 

Earlier this month Zharov announced that Gazprom-Media will launch two websites similar to YouTube in the next two years, with one being an improved version of the Rutube streaming service — a platform targeted at Russian speakers that Gazprom-Media acquired in 2008.

On Wednesday Zharov said the holding had been working for "about a year to modernize it and make it no worse than YouTube in terms of tools."

In recent years YouTube has become an increasingly popular platform for young Russians, with some of the most-watched channels racking in tens of millions of views. 

It has also become a source of independent news and an alternative to the main television channels that are mostly under state control. 

Authorities have continuously stepped up efforts to tighten control over the Russian segment of the internet under the pretext of fighting online extremism. 

Earlier Wednesday the lower house of parliament passed legislation that would make it possible to block internet platforms, including YouTube, if they are found guilty of "censorship" and "discrimination."

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more