Vladimir Putin s government is clamping down on social media use in Russia. AP
The move comes after Facebook and Twitter were blocked in early March as part of sweeping efforts by Moscow to control information available to Russians about its military operation in Ukraine.
Instagram appeared Monday on a list of "restricted" online resources on a list published by Russia's media regulator Roskomnadzor.
Instagram's app was not refreshing without a VPN, AFP journalists said.
Facebook and Instagram are widely used in Russia, the latter being the most popular social media platform among young Russians.
For many small Russian businesses, Instagram was a key platform for advertising, processing sales and communicating with clients.