Things just went south for internet users in Russia. Following the ban of Telegram last week, various Google services have also gone done in Russia due to IP blocks. Many users are unable to sign-in or access services like Gmail and YouTube in Russia.
Last week, Russian communication regulators, Roskomnadzor blocked Telegram after the cloud-based messaging service refused to comply with a court order. The court order required Telegram to allow authorities to access users’ encrypted messages.
To overcome this blockade, Telegram was using an unspecified method that allowed its users to hop different IPs and keep the service running. As a result, Roskomnadzor blocked 18 sub-networks and numerous IP addresses belonged to Google and Amazon.
Due to this, various Google services stopped working in the region. Google Russia responded to its services being disrupted on Twitter.
Tweet in Russian
Tweet Translated into English
Even services like Downdetector displayed Gmail, Google, and YouTube showing a sharp dip in a number of active users, suggesting the website was inaccessible.
Many users have bypassed this block by switching their IP address through a Russian VPN, proxy service, and other cloud-based tools.
However, a more problematic scenario surrounds the tourists that are planning to visit Russia this summer for the FIFA World Cup. If Google services don’t work, there could be a severe backlash from users.
Therefore, if you are planning to visit Russia, we would suggest packing a VPN and other unblocking tools with you. Google is currently working on coming up with a workaround for this problem, but there is no stopping the Russian authorities from blocking its services in the future.