Kindle Paperwhite Now Banned in Russia

Kindle Paperwhite Now Banned in Russia Amazon e-Reading Hardware Amazon has hit a snag in the launch of its Russian Kindle Store. Several local sources have reported that the Kindle now requires a special license before it can be imported into Russia.,, and all report that a "specialist in information security" (?) by the name of Alex Lukatskii had recently tried and failed to import a Kindle Paperwhite. He was reportedly told by DHL that the Paperwhite had been rejected by Russian customs agents because it used encryption DRM.

Curiously enough, only the Kindle Paperwhite is banned; we have no similar reports about the cheaper Kindle. Both devices have been available in Russia since 2013, and according to one comment on, the Paperwhite has been banned in Russia since January 2014.

The commenter was puzzled why this story counted as news when it was a year old. That was an important detail because without it I would have written this story off as an unverified urban legend found on Facebook - even with the confirmation that Russia does have import regulations covering encryption systems.

More so than most countries, Russia has strict import regulations for encryption. Where most countries would at least let you bring in a device for person use, that exemption doesn't always fly in Russia.

Devices which incorporate encryption can be imported, but they sometimes require an import license. Thanks to the DRM used on the Kindle platform, the Kindle Paperwhite has run afoul of that regulation, and it is effectively banned in Russia.

Update: Or perhaps not. I now have conflicting reports that Amazon did secure the import permit (Thanks, Vladimir!), and that Paperwhites have made it through customs. (Thanks, Alex!)




Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. puzzled8 April, 2015

    Who’d a thunk that Russia would be a bastion of freedom?

  2. Alexei Glushchenko9 April, 2015

    Must have been an overzealous customs officer. I just bought two Kindle Paperwhites from Amazon in March, and they were successfully shipped to Arkhangelsk, Russia.

  3. Alexei Glushchenko9 April, 2015

    …Or could it be a pathetic attempt to respond to US sanctions?

    1. Nate Hoffelder9 April, 2015

      The selective enforcement points to that possibility, yes.

  4. Vladimir Kharitonov9 April, 2015

    This story is not about a freedom unfortunately but about paranoia and iron curtain. The Russian authorities very afraid about personal crypto.

    And thank you for link, Nate.

    1. Nate Hoffelder9 April, 2015


  5. Vladimir Kharitonov10 April, 2015

    Fresh news: Amazon has the notification for Kindle Paperwhite — Therefore the problem with Kindle has different reason.

    1. Nate Hoffelder10 April, 2015


  6. […] Russia Says “Nyet” to Kindle Paperwhite (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Russian authorities appear to be blocking the importation of Kindle Paperwhites by requiring a special license. Since other Kindle models are permitted to be shipped into Russia, some observers speculate the Paperwhite’s encryption DRM system is the likely culprit. […]

  7. […] information est rapportée par The digital Reader. Des sites web russes spécialisés dans la lecture numériques expliquent tous la même chose : un […]


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