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Kremlin Spokesman Still Uses Telegram Despite Ban

Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metsel / TASS

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he still uses the Telegram messaging service despite the state regulator’s efforts to block it from being accessible in the country.

Regulator Roskomnadzor began enforcing a court ordered ban on Telegram on April 16 after the messaging app refused to grant the Russian security services access to users’ encrypted messages. In its effort to block access to Telegram, Roskomnadzor has blacklisted almost 18 million Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, disrupting the work of hundreds unrelated online services.

Ordinary Russians experienced major disruptions with online payments, games, even so-called “smart homes” while Telegram lost an estimated 3 percent of its Russian audience.

“It works for me and there’s nothing to it,” the RBC business portal cited Peskov as saying on a conference call with reporters Thursday.

Regarding Telegram’s erratic accessibility, he urged users “not to dramatize or speak ironically” of Roskomnadzor’s efforts to take down the app.

His words echoed earlier comments by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who was quoted as saying by the state-run TASS news agency that Telegram “still works for me.”

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