Google and Gmail services have been blocked in Russia after Watchdog accused the American search giant of assisting people to use the banned chat service, Telegram.
Russia has blocked Google IP addresses in Kazan, Moscow, Krasnoyarsk at St. Petersburg, after they were added to a list of banned sites on the Russian federal executive body website responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications, Roskomnadozor.
Watchdog said on its official page: “Google hasn’t complied with Roskomnadzor requests and, despite a court ruling, keeps allowing Telegram Messenger to use its IP addresses to operate in Russia.
“Therefore, Roskomnadzor included some Google IP addresses into a register of banned internet resources.”
Despite the ban, Telegram users were still able to access the service by using VPNs and from various IP addresses on sites such as Google.
A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch: “We are aware of reports that some users in Russia are unable to access some Google products, and are investigating those reports.”
The decision to block Telegram has also forced Kremlin officials, who are part of the Russian Federal Protective Service, to switch to Mail.ru’s ICQ chat service.