The messaging service, founded by Russian Social Media billionaire Pavel Durov, was banned in 2018 after it refused to hand over encryption keys to the FSB. However, the ban was never really effective since Telegram routed traffic on foreign cloud services (such as Amazon’s AWS) so as to bypass it, but it’s not for lack of trying, Russian authorities having blocked more than 15 million IP adresses on these platforms (not enough to block Telegram, but more than enough to cause troubles for the many other businesses that use these cloud services). Similarly to Iran, where it is also banned since 2018 but very popular (the Islamic Republic is its first market in audience size), the service is still widely used in Russia, which we believe is its 4th market in size with close to 19.5 million MAUs forecasted for 2020. Although the ban is still effective, Russian health authorities themselves have used the messenger to communicate on the ongoing pandemic. Furthermore, some observers believe that the Kremlin also uses Telegram anonymous channels for political purposes both in Russia and in neighbouring Ukraine and thus have secretly promoted the app there.