Support The Moscow Times!

Here's What Happened at the Telegram Protest in Moscow

Anton Egorov / Instagram @roofdancer

Thousands of protesters gathered on Monday afternoon to show their support for the Telegram messaging service. 

The anti-censorship demonstration, organized by the Russian Libertarian Party, was held on Prospekt Sakharova in central Moscow.

State media regulator Roskomnadzor began blocking websites en masse to enforce an April 13 court order to ban Telegram over its refusal to provide access to its users’ private messages to Russia's security services.

The organizers behind today's protest demanded that Roskomnadzor restore access to Telegram and affected services. According to their Telegram statement, they are seeking the repeal of all "repressive Internet laws," and the dissolution of Roskomnadzor.

"Our rights regarding secrecy of correspondence, freedom of speech and conscience are guaranteed by the Constitution and cannot be restricted either by law or by conscience," the statement said.

Free speech supporters brought paper planes — the messaging service's logo — of various sizes and placards bearing slogans against censorship. Over 12,000 people participated in the demonstration, according to the crowd-counting service White Counter.

"Things have gotten so bad that even introverts are here"

Публикация от Rinat (@renderr)

"We don't want television, We want Telegram"

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.