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Blocking Telegram is a blow to Russia's future An editorial by Meduza

Meduza
Meduza

Moscow’s Tagansky District Court has sanctioned the government’s decision to block Telegram, one of the world’s most recognizable technology companies with roots in Russia. If this happened abroad, it would be like the United States banning Facebook or Amazon, the European Union banning Skype or Spotify, or Belarus banning World of Tanks or Maps.me.

Blocking Telegram is an attack on something that should in fact be a source of pride for Russia.

Corporations like Gazprom call themselves “Russia’s national treasure,” but this title actually belongs to Telegram. How many Russian companies can you name that appeared during Putin’s third presidential term that went on to become a global sensation? How many Russian companies have achieved success abroad without taking a kopeck from the state budget and without selling an ounce of natural resources?

Blocking Telegram is a blow to the Russian economy.

The Russian state should have welcome Pavel Durov as its main ally, but instead it’s made him an enemy. Thanks to Durov, Russians have Vkontakte — a social network that never succumbed to the pressure of Facebook. (How many places are left on Earth where that’s still true?) Pavel Durov has become a hero to his generation, a role model for millions, and one of the most famous and respected Russians in the world.

Blocking Telegram is a blow to Russia's future.

The Meduza newsroom