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a message text transmitted by telegraph. Communications agencies may receive telegrams from individuals, institutions, or organizations.

Telegrams are classified as domestic or international; domestic telegrams may be intercity or local (within a given population center). According to the stages of transmission, telegrams are classified as outgoing, transit, and incoming. The processing priority determines the classification of telegrams into several categories (seeCATEGORY TELEGRAM).

In the USSR telegrams may be sent over a general public network or over a teletypewriter exchange network. Each type of network has a specific telegram-processing technology. For example, in a general public network, depending on the means used to automate the retransmission of telegrams at switching centers, telegrams may be handled via direct circuits, by code switching, or by means of perforated tapes that are torn off and transferred. Telegrams are processed according to their type and category.

In the USSR special rules establish the order in which telegrams are processed when they are received from the sender at terminal points, transmitted to destination points, and delivered to addressees. For maximum convenience, the rules allow the possibility of the following services: telegrams sent to multiple addresses, return notification of delivery, certified signature of the sender or certification of the information contained in the telegram, translations, letter (mail) telegrams, and photographic telegrams. The text of the telegram may be written in Russian, English, French, German, or the languages of the Soviet peoples and autonomous republics. Russian words appearing in the texts of international telegrams may be written in letters of the Latin alphabet.

Communications agencies are responsible for the accuracy and timely processing of telegrams in compliance with the Communications Rules of the USSR.