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Telegram messenger restricts access to bots associated with campaigning — founder

The balloting process will span across three days - September 17, 18, and 19

MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. The Telegram messenger will limit access to all bots associated with electoral campaigning starting from 00:00 Moscow time on Saturday, Telegram founder Pavel Durov wrote.

"Since the campaigning period in Russia is over, and the voting has started, the so-called days of silence have begun - a tradition sealed by the law in many countries that envisages a ban on campaigning during the vote itself. We consider this practice to be a legitimate one, and call upon users to respect it. Starting from midnight Moscow time, we plan to limit the functioning of bots associated with electoral campaigning," the statement says.

Elections to the 8th Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) are scheduled for September 19, 2021, known as the Single Voting Day. The balloting process will span across three days - September 17, 18, and 19. In addition to the State Duma elections, voters will go to the polls to cast ballots for the heads of nine Russian regions (in another three regions local legislatures will elect top executive officials) and in elections for 39 regional parliaments.