Chinese short video app TikTok has restored the account of a Russian state news agency after Moscow intervened when the account was blocked over the weekend, highlighting the social media platform’s increasing influence that has led to heightened scrutiny in multiple countries. The social network, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance , blocked the account for RIA Novosti and removed a video of a Ukrainian regional leader calling for evacuation on Saturday. The account remained down for most of the day, and it was restored following an intervention by a Russian regulator, according to Sputnik International, the news agency’s global news unit. “Roskomnadzor has taken up the situation, a solution has been found,” Sputnik said, citing Russia’s communications regulator. ByteDance says TikTok and Douyin are different, but they face similar criticisms The deleted video was also restored. In that video, Denis Pushilin, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic region in eastern Ukraine, urged local residents to evacuate to Russia because of the increased tensions between the two countries. Russia’s troop build-up along its border with Ukraine has led US President Joe Biden to warn that an invasion of the eastern European country, once part of the Soviet Union, could happen within days. Russia could use false claims about the conflict to justify an invasion, the US said. Before the video was removed, it had been viewed by more than 1.2 million people, according to Sputnik. The popularity of TikTok in Russia and Ukraine has made it a battleground in an information war involving conflicting accounts from Moscow, Kyiv and Washington about on-the-ground developments. In a departure from its previous policy during the 2014 crisis that saw Russia annex Crimea, the US has been publicly sharing regular updates from intelligence on Russian troop movements and plans. Russian security chiefs launched an advertising campaign this month urging troops not to use social media networks such as TikTok for fear of giving away military secrets. TikTok did not respond to a request for comment, and ByteDance rarely comments on controversies about the app’s content. But TikTok’s growing influence and political content has led to concerns from governments around the world. Last year, TikTok was flooded with videos of pupils taking down portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin and teenagers cutting their passports in half and throwing them away. Several court rulings in 2021 led to combined fines on TikTok of 8.1 million roubles (US$105,000) for failing to remove illegal content. The app has also been accused of suppressing content on subjects such as LGBT rights and alleged human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in China’s far-western Xinjiang region. Concerns about such influence in the US culminated with former-president Donald Trump trying to ban TikTok , an executive order that faced legal hurdles and was later revoked by Biden . TikTok tightens rules to bar transphobic behaviour such as deadnaming Beijing regards the recommendation algorithm behind TikTok’s popularity, the machine learning and artificial intelligence mechanism that keeps users glued to the app, as a key technology that requires government approval for export . Despite government concerns, TikTok has remained enormously popular. Last September, TikTok said it had surpassed 1 billion users globally, which does not include the hundreds of millions of users of the Chinese version, Douyin. In Russia, the app has 70 million monthly active users, nearly half the country’s population. The app was also very popular in India until it was banned last year , along with several other Chinese apps.