Telegram founder pledges 1 million dollars to fund proxy servers to beat Russian censorship

Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced in a Vkontakte post on Tuesday that he promises to donate $1 million of his personal funds to award “Bitcoin grants” over the course of a year to the administrators of proxy and VPN services that allow Internet users in Russia to access Telegram, which the government started blocking on Monday, April 16. Durov is also calling on others to join him in funding the circumvention effort to defeat Russian censorship.

In a message on Telegram, Pavel Durov's official channel thanked Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft “for not taking part in political censorship.” Durov also stated that Russia accounts for “less than seven percent of Telegram's total user base,” though he says it's important to him “personally” that the messenger “does everything it can for its Russian users.”