United Russia deputies forced to delete Telegram and publicly report on it

United Russia deputies forced to delete Telegram and publicly report on it
On April 16, Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor began blocking Telegram following a court decision

The order was distributed through the party’s internal network in the State Duma, according to sources.

United Russia deputies received orders to delete Telegram, at least from their official phone numbers. Moreover, it is greatly encouraged they publicly report on doing so, according to Znak’s sources in the State Duma.

The order was distributed through the party’s internal network in the State Duma, the publication’s sources say. Yet, United Russia administration and the Presidential Administration have a much more laid back attitude towards Telegram use.

The journalists also talked to two United Russia deputies. They contacted one of them through Instagram, and other through the Facebook messenger. The latter was also available through Telegram, albeit not via their official number.

Still, the State Duma continues monitoring Telegram channels. Its employees told Znak they did not receive such orders. It is worth mentioning that these employees were contacted through Telegram.

It is hard to quit Telegram, since monitoring its channels is part of their job, according to a United Russia Council member. Neither the Presidential Administration nor Government banned personal use of Telegram, he said. It is worth mentioning that President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov had confirmed he continues using Telegram and does not think there is anything wrong with it.

To recall, State Duma deputy Natalia Kostenko’s Facebook post made headlines last week. She wrote that she could not receive Telegram messages and asked not to contact her there. PM Dmitry Medvedev’s Press Secretary Natalia Timakova left a comment recommending Kostenko to “use VPN. It is simple. Plus, it works most of the time.”

The exchange screenshot went viral; Timakova later claimed she was “just trolling.” Kostenko eventually made her post “visible only to friends.”

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