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Widespread Telegram, WhatsApp Outages Reported Across Russia

Moskva News Agency

WhatsApp and Telegram users in Siberia and Russia's Far East reported widespread outages of the two messaging apps on Wednesday.

Some media outlets speculated that the disruptions were linked to protests in the republic of Sakha (Yakutia) over the killing of a local man.

But outages were reported in at least six other regions in Siberia and the Far East, including Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk, Magadan, Kamchatka and others, as well as in some regions in the European part of the country. 

Authorities in Sakha said the outages there were connected to “preventive work” by the local government in coordination with Russia's state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor but did not offer more detail. 

Access to WhatsApp and Telegram was restored around four hours following initial reports of the outages, according to the local news outlet Yakutsk Vecerhnyi.

Earlier Wednesday, dozens of residents took to the snowy streets of the Sakha capital of Yakutsk to express outrage over the killing of an ethnic Yakut by what was said to be a Russian-Tajik dual national.

An unspecified number of demonstrators were detained on unknown charges, according to Yakutsk Vechernyi.

The man accused of killing the ethnic Yakut was reportedly placed in pre-trial detention for two months later on Wednesday.

Sakha Governor Aysen Nikolayev blamed Wednesday's protests on “provocateurs sitting abroad and seeking to ignite conflict, sow animosity and divide and harden us.”

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