Strange developments on the Russian internet

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The internet in Russia has seen strange changes after apps crashed and came back unexpectedly.

Telegram, the country’s most popular messaging app, crashed on Tuesday, along with other platforms such as YouTube and social media site Vkontakte.

At the same time, Instagram and Facebook users found that they could access these sites for the first time in two years.

Russia’s public communications network monitoring center said on Tuesday that its experts had recorded a “massive malfunction” in Telegram, but the cause was not immediately clear. Telegram did not respond to a request for comment.

“The work of the Telegram messaging app and a number of other services in Russia is currently being renewed,” the Russian Digital Ministry said in a statement, adding that the app was also failing outside Russia.

We are working to determine the cause of the incident.

As for Russian telecom operators, their networks work normally.

Reuters correspondents in Moscow noted that Telegram, YouTube and Vkontakte were down for about 90 minutes.

Shortly after the outage, several previously blocked social media apps, including Instagram and Facebook, suddenly became available in Russia on Tuesday, according to Reuters correspondents in Moscow.

Reuters reporters were able to browse Instagram without the need for a virtual private network (VPN) for the first time since the blocks were imposed shortly after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine in February 2022.

Communications regulator Roskomnadzor has moved to block some foreign tech companies, including Meta Platforms’ Facebook and Instagram.

Moscow has long been trying to develop its local internet infrastructure, Runet, even separating itself from the global internet for tests.

Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the Duma parliament’s information policy committee, said it was unclear what caused the Telegram outages but said it was a mistake to immediately blame the Russian state, noting “conspiracy theories” that Russia was trying to block foreign sources ahead of the presidential elections in March.

“Such incidents have happened and will happen for a variety of reasons, from human error to hacker attack,” he said.

Much more important is how long it will take to fix the malfunction; the extent of the damage to the Russian economy depends on this.

Agencies were also utilized


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