- A Russian blogger told Insider that life for content creators in Russia has become more difficult.
- Since Russia invaded Ukraine last month, Natalia Konstantinova said she’s struggling to make money.
- She also cited an uptick in online attacks targeting her Russian identity.
As prices across Russia begin to skyrocket in the face of international sanctions, one Russian TikToker told Insider that content creators in the country are struggling to make ends meet while simultaneously battling an uptick in internet attacks as a result of their country’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine.
Natalia Konstantinova, who runs popular TikTok and Instagram accounts, both under the moniker of @natashasrussia, where she educates her sizeable audience on all things Russian culture, said Russia’s war efforts are starting to be felt in her home city of St. Petersburg.
She still posts video updates and educational content for hundreds of thousands of followers, just as she’s done for the past four years. But since the war began, some aspects of her role as a content creator have begun to change, she said.
Konstantinova told Insider that Russian bloggers and creators are struggling to make money after a slew of payment services suspended operations in the country.
Earlier this month, PayPal announced that the company would cut off business with Russia in response to its attacks against Ukraine. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express were also quick to announce bans in the country linked to sanctions targeting Russian financial institutions.
“So we can’t get tips, we can’t get donations,” Konstantinova said. “We can’t be supported in any way.”
Konstantinova said she previously used PayPal and
— a membership platform service that allows content creators to run personalized subscription services — to garner income.
Patreon CEO Jack Conte earlier this month said he was taking a different approach from many other tech companies by allowing the service to continue operating in Russia, where it is used by thousands of creators in the region.
Conte said he didn’t want to punish individual creators for their president’s political decision. Still, he acknowledged that the move was likely more symbolic than practical, as banks and other financial services that have pulled out of the country may stop the payments from functioning.
Konstantinova withdrew all her money from PayPal before the system was blocked in Russia, so she’s not yet certain what the impact will be on her finances now that the platforms are null.
“We will see next month how it’s gonna be, as people can’t donate directly anymore,” she said.