ua en ru

Verkhovna Rada on conditions for Telegram to be blocked in Ukraine

Verkhovna Rada on conditions for Telegram to be blocked in Ukraine Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Ukraine may block Telegram if the information leak is confirmed. It is possible that the information from the messenger is provided to the Russian secret services, according to Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, head of the Committee on Freedom of Speech in the Ukrainian Parliament, in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

"To initiate the blocking of Telegram, there must be clear justification, such as a decision from the National Security and Defense Council regarding sanctions, for instance. However, this would necessitate a critical situation involving information leaks. We certainly hope to avoid such a scenario, hence the need for careful consideration," he said.

Yurchyshyn also raised concerns about potential Russian influence over Telegram, highlighting the uncertainty surrounding the protection of users' information from Russian security agencies.

"Do we have a 100% guarantee that Pavel Durov is indeed the owner of Telegram? According to his claims, yes. However, his assertions may not be sufficient. Moreover, there is no information confirming Durov's renunciation of his Russian passport. Currently, he is a citizen of the UAE, but this does not necessarily entail relinquishing Russian citizenship," Yurchyshyn added.

He pointed out past instances where Telegram has allegedly blocked content unfavorable to Russia, suggesting lingering communication channels between the company's founder, Pavel Durov, and the Putin regime.

Regarding specific measures for imposing sanctions on Telegram, Yurchyshyn emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach. "This involves identifying the issues, documenting network disruptions, assessing challenges to national security, and then passing the issue to the National Security and Defense Council, culminating in the President's decree enforcement. Is the option still on the table? Yes. Can it be activated? Certainly, if any significant threat to our information security arises," he concluded.

Telegram in Ukraine

According to a survey conducted by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, the majority of Ukrainians express keen interest in online information regarding the war with Russia (81%).

Primary sources of daily news for Ukrainian respondents include YouTube (41%), local Telegram channels (39%), nationwide Telegram channels (37%), Facebook (36%), word of mouth (35%), and the Unified News telethon (38%).

Telegram, founded in August 2013 by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, who is also the founder of the social network VKontakte, boasts 900 million active monthly users as of April 1, 2024.