Telegram blocks Ukrainian military bots amid Russia-Ukraine crisis

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Ukraine’s military intelligence agency GUR on Monday announced that the administrators of the Telegram messaging platform had blocked several official bots that were actively opposing Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

In a statement posted on Telegram, GUR expressed disappointment over the “unreasonable” blocking of official bots, including the main Intelligence bot, which stood against Russia’s military actions. However, GUR assured users that despite the bot’s blocking, their personal data remained secure.

A bot refers to a software application programmed to execute specific tasks autonomously. Bots can simulate human conversation, collect content, and perform various other functions.

Founded by Russian-born Pavel Durov, the Dubai-based Telegram messaging app gained popularity as a social media platform. Durov relocated from Russia in 2014 after refusing government demands to shut down opposition communities on another social media platform that he had previously sold.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Telegram has emerged as a vital tool for both governments and individuals seeking unfiltered information about the conflict. Major media outlets, government bodies, and public figures from both Russia and Ukraine utilize Telegram channels to disseminate content.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy shares his daily video addresses on Telegram, while the Ukrainian armed forces use the platform to alert citizens about air raids and provide updates on battlefield developments.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin utilizes Telegram to announce President Vladimir Putin’s activities, and Russia’s opposition employs the platform to rally support.

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