The Russian internet company VK has launched a home-made app store to bridge the gap left by foreign technology companies.

RUStore was founded with the support of the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media as well as the Russian technology company Yandex, the largest lender Sberbank and the cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab.

“I am sure that RuStore will be in demand among both users and developers. It has everything it takes to become the largest Russian app store,” said VK CEO Vladimir Kiriyenko.

Foreign technology companies were forced to either shut down or leave Russia in protest at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The departure of these technology companies has left a large digital gap in Russia, and the Russian government is pushing for the rapid development of domestic digital alternatives. The country is also accelerating its years-long campaign to control online space, regulating major technology platforms such as Meta, Twitter, and Google News.