Not more than 3 rubles 29 kopecks per word in a regular telegram and 5 rubles 53 kopecks in “urgent” and “government” messages will be paid by senders of text messages by telegraph communication from May 15. Such marginal tariffs for telegrams were set by the Federal Antimonopoly Service. “Parliamentary newspaper” found out who uses this seemingly forgotten type of communication today.

I’m going crazy. Velyurov.

Soviet citizens, in order to save on the cost of a telegram, which was then the main way of urgent transmission of information about important events – whether it was a birth, wedding or death – threw out prepositions from the text, because they were considered separate words. Who does not remember, for example, a telegram from the film “Pokrovsky Gates”: “I’m going crazy.”

From May 15, telegrams in Russia will again rise in price. So, the price of one word in a regular telegram will increase by 14 kopecks, and in the categories “urgent”, “out of category”, “extraordinary”, “President of the Russian Federation”, “Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation”, “highest government” and “government” – by 23 kopecks.

Delivery services will also become more expensive: the telegraph fee for ordinary messages will be 94 rubles (previously 90 rubles), and for special ones – 125 rubles (previously 120 rubles). You will have to pay more for telegrams to settlements that do not have a telegraph connection: now they will charge 55 rubles 33 kopecks for delivery against 53 rubles a year ago.

It would seem that in the age of the Internet and mobile communications, when messages can be delivered instantly and free of charge, telegrams have no place – they should have died out as unnecessary. However, this service continues to exist and, as it turned out, is quite in demand. As follows from the financial report of the Central Telegraph for 2021, revenues from telegraph, data transmission and telematic services decreased by only two percent. At the same time, they amounted to 904.3 million rubles out of 1.46 billion, which the telegraph earned in total for the year.

Officials, businessmen and judges

As previously reported by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, enterprises have mainly used telegraph services in recent years: they send up to 92 percent of all telegrams. At the same time, 60 percent of such senders are budgetary organizations.

How much correspondence under the new tariffs can cost the authorities, “Parliamentskaya Gazeta” calculated on the example of a telegram that we received from the Federation Council on the occasion of the publication’s anniversary. It turned out that the set and delivery of a congratulatory message of the “government” category of 161 words will now cost 986 rubles 35 kopecks.

Almost a thousand rubles is more than at express delivery rates. Another disadvantage is the long transmission time of such messages compared to modern communication methods. So, according to current standards, an urgent telegram should reach the recipient in 4 hours, and an ordinary one in 8-12 hours.

Why, then, are telegrams so popular with government officials? Experts named several reasons: it is a guarantee against loss of a message or distortion of its meaning, as well as confidentiality: information is completely protected from third parties. That is why telegrams are actively used by business, for example, banks and insurers.

Another advantage of the telegram is the ability to confirm the receipt of information if necessary. For example, a telegram, along with a subpoena, is still one of the most common forms of notification of a subpoena. At the same time, such a telegram cannot be ignored. But you can immediately answer it with your own telegram – for example, about absenteeism due to illness.

Dots and dashes against sanctions?

The importance of the telegram in Russia may still grow in the near future, says Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption Anatoly Vyborny (“United Russia”).

“Given that many electronic services are operated mainly by Western companies, one of the advantages of postal telegrams is that it is a secure, exclusively Russian channel for transmitting information,” the deputy noted.

The same government telegrams are already a type of documentary telecommunication that has no analogues, and is also protected from fakes, Vyborny cited an example.

Anatoly Vyborny
© Yuri Inyakin/PG

At the same time, he added that Russia needs to develop its own software, “which, under the conditions of sanctions, can give the same advantages as mail telegrams have.”

The Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy also agrees with his colleague Stanislav Naumov (LDPR).

“It is necessary to maintain working communication channels, while not abandoning modern achievements,” the deputy told Parliamentary Newspaper.

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Transfer money and vote

However, telegrams are sent not only by officials, businessmen and judges. Ordinary people also use this type of communication. Civilian telegrams account for about eight percent of shipments, Rossiyskaya Gazeta noted earlier.

Today, you can send a text message by telegraph not only in post offices, but also via the Internet – the service operates around the clock around the world. Also, a telegram can be dictated by phone or dialed into your smartphone in a special application. In any case, a real postman will deliver the message.

There are prospects for the development of civil telegrams in the field of public services, Stanislav Naumov believes.

“This can be a certain communication channel that confirms the identity of the sender and recipient of public services,” the deputy suggested.

Stanislav Naumov


© Timur Khanov/PG

In addition, telegrams can be widely used in the financial services market, including transfers.

“It is no coincidence that in the USSR transfers were received precisely by telegraph. Today, a telegram can also be one of the types of notification of a transfer or withdrawal of funds,” Naumov suggested.

He also recalled that in some countries voting is carried out by mail. In Russia, especially in remote regions, telegrams can become such a way of expressing will, the parliamentarian believes.

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