On June 23, a new version of Telegram was released on Android and iOS, including with the ability to create thematic chats with reference to a specific area. Residents of Crimea were deprived of this function – they can not start geo-chats.
Crimeans using Russian phone numbers faced a ban: Telegram informs them that creating chat rooms is possible only in the country to which the phone number is attached. Residents of Crimea use phones with a country code of +7, and this is Russia. Telegram probably adheres to international practice and does not consider Crimea to be Russian territory.
The same problem can occur for anyone who uses a phone number registered in the wrong country where he is. It turns out that tourists and visitors to various international events who have not received a local phone number cannot create geo chats – such an opportunity opens for them only after arriving in their native country.
In 2018, during the initial placement of TON coins, Pavel Durov banned the investment in this cryptocurrency to residents of the Crimea, Iran and North Korea. The United States and Europe imposed sanctions on these countries. Telegram is registered in the UK, but the team of Pavel Durov is geographically located in the UAE.