The Russian Federation joins a list of countries where violence and terrorism often have a religious and an ethnic basis, and where the authorities seek ways to deal with the issue of online hate speech. In this context, in May 2014 the Russian Parliament enacted Federal Law No 97-FZ (the Bloggers’ Law). This legislation required the compulsory registration of all popular bloggers with the country's internet regulatory agency, Roskomnadzor, thereby forcing the disclosure of their real identities. The Bloggers’ Law has been widely criticised, however, and although the internet community is still engaged in a heated discussion over whether there exists a legal right to online anonymity, the law made anonymous blogging in Russia a daunting undertaking. The Bloggers’ Law was repealed in the second half of 2017, and updating of the ‘Bloggers’ Register’ ceased. This article attempts to (i) analyse the context and the reasoning behind the introduction of the Bloggers’ Register; (ii) disentangle the relevant legal provisions; and (iii) assess its effectiveness, drawing conclusions based on events in the Russian blogosphere during the period 2014–17.