back to article Vladimir Putin says internet is a 'CIA project'

Russian president Vladimir Putin provided further indications that his administration will be tightening control over internet access in the country on Thursday, when he condemned the internet as being a CIA-controlled "project". The Associated Press quoted Putin in saying at an event in St. Petersburg that the internet was a …


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  1. Chris G

    How preposterous!

    That would mean the CIA wants to spy on everybody.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: How preposterous!

      Oh there's no doubt that the CIA have the motive. But the means? How would one go about secretly controlling the global Internet?

      1. Jaybus

        Re: How preposterous!

        He is a politician, therefore nothing he says must have any basis in fact and most of what he says will be completely illogical on the surface. Only the motive can be followed. Perhaps he wants to limit or control the internet in Russia and is looking for an excuse? Or maybe he believes the inventor of the internet, Al Gore, has it in for him..

    2. Richard Jones 1
      Big Brother

      Re: How preposterous!

      Yes he is jealous that his mob were only able to set up ways to make money for themselves. This is probably why he is getting his henchmen to take over IT operations in his slave camp.

      By the way I always thought that a Putin was what prisoners used before cells had proper facilities for use over night.

      Anyway lets try to ensure that Tzar Putin can be consigned to his imperial palaces without any external interruptions.

      Cut them off from the internet and do us all a favour.

  2. Notas Badoff

    You couldn't get a plot like this published!

    Putin's output is beginning to reads like a fusion between HH's plans and a soap opera. Tom Clancy must be rolling in his grave.

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I always thought he was a bit crazy

    Now I think he's dangerously crazy

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

      He used to remind me of Bismarck. Strategically brillant, using nationalism, success and great deftness to maintain a sort of hybrid democracy/dictatorship. Mostly with restraint and subtlety, but with the odd bit of brutality showing through, to keep the more adventurous in check.

      But now I'm not so sure. What he's doing in Ukraine, doesn't seem to make any sense. I don't see enough gain from turning Ukraine into even more of a basketcase than it already was, to make up for the downside of all the enemies he's making.

      Angela Merkel, mostly an ally, said after a phone call with him last week that he seemed to be detached from reality. That's surprisingly un-diplomatic language…

      1. Denarius

        Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

        Detached from reality ? Do you mean he is normal for a politician then ? Sorry, forgot the strategically brilliant part..

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

        @ I ain't Spartacus

        Who told you that he is "doing it" in Ukraine. He may have started it, but it does not look like him "doing it" any more.

        For starters, Ukraine is bordering to Transdnestr which is:

        1. Lawless product of a stale civil war with the mob and illegal weapons trading being the biggest economy contributors

        2. Predominantly Russian (despite being in Western Ukraine).

        3. Sitting on one of the biggest weapons caches in the region and selling some of it from time to time to other conflicts in the region.

        4. Shipping russian nationalism and mercenaries throughout the region the same way Chechen were trading in mercenaries during the previous decade (the Bosnia wars, Afganistan, Middle East).

        5. Crimea takeover was organized and executed with Putin "doing it". What is happening now is no longer Crimea.

        Add to that every nationalist nuthead (and Russia has quite a few of those) picking up a gun from the closet (Russia has quite of few of those too) and shipping out south-west. Frankly, I do not think he (or anyone) is in control any more.

        While I understand the geopolitical motivation of the Eu and USA, what they have done in Kiev is going to bite us in a way compared to which Afganistan and Syria will be nothing.

        1. Ossi

          Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

          @ Voland's Right Hand

          Transdnestr is only around 30% Russian

          Transdnestr is part of Moldova not 'in Western Ukraine'.

          Transdnestr has a large Russian garrison and is widely considered to be under de facto Russian control

          The evidence of direct Russian interference in Western Ukraine is clear - coordinated , clearly trained and heavily armed troops carrying Russian weapons and Russian uniforms (without badges) - oh, and Putin has now admitted the Crimean 'insurgents' were his soldiers.

          Do you have the slightest bit of evidence about your Transdnestr theory?

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

          Voland's right hand,

          I have no doubt that Putin is not in control of what's happening in Eastern Ukraine. No-one is.

          But there's pretty good evidence that Russia was more than just a little involved. Firstly I've heard reports on the BBC World Service - where guys occupying the police stations seemed to be clearly all (or mostly) local. They knew each other and seemed to know the local area. But some of them admitted that the guys who'd done the actual storming had been unknown to them, and carrying uniforms without insignia and better weapons. Normally this wouldn't be enough to make me believe a conspiracy theory. Except that it's exactly the same MO as worked in Crimea. Something Putin said he wouldn't do the day before he did it, denied at the time, and then smugly talked about giving the special forces guys medals for 2 weeks later.

          Secondly Russia has been noisily carrying out military excercises on the Ukrainian border. This is either the prelude to an invasion, or it's just posturing to totally fuck up the new Ukrainian government. It's now looking more like the prelude to a full-scale invasion, because of the special forces guys already sent in. But it still might be just an attempt to destabilise Ukraine, and create a low-level civil war. Who can tell? However it's also a clear signal to the pro-Russia extremists that they can try and attract Russia to come in, and is a deliberately destabilising gesture.

          Thirdly, even after signing a deal with the Ukraine government and Western governments to de-escalate, the Russian government has kept up the rhetoric, and started new military excercises in Rostov. And not called for the protesters to stand-down.

          Oh and fourthly, disparate, grass-roots rebel movements don't storm 50-odd buildings virtually simultaneously one morning, with zero reported casualties.

          So yes. Russia is definitely involved. In several ways. Some of them even they don't deny. And they've since admitted what they did in Crimea. What their final intention is, that's another matter. I can't believe they'd gain enough from annexing Eastern Ukraine to be worth the costs of occupying it, dealing with the probably huge diplomatic fallout, possible resistance and the mess they'd make of the remnants of Ukraine. NATO would have to invite Ukraine in, which they really don't want to do, probably also Georgia - and those are 2 things the Russians definitely don't want. NATO would also probably have to permanently station troops in the Baltic States. Poland can easily hold out long enough to be re-inforced, they've got 5 armoured divisions.

          Also I don't know what the passport position is, but Russia has in certain cases been very eager to hand out Russian passports to Russian minorities in the surrounding countries. After all, it was one of the reasons they gave/manufactured for the war with Georgia. I don't know how much of that has been going on in Ukraine, but there's quite a big chance that whatever happens in Ukraine, a mostly harmonious relationship between people who see themselves as Ukrainian and those who see themselves as Russian is breaking down. This could turn catastrophic, and lead to serious civil conflict. Does he really want a couple of million penniless refugees to deal with? The Russian government isn't made of money. And their economy is taking a serious beating form this crisis as is. Full EU sanctions would be crippling - and he'd suddenly be less popular - after the nationalistic fervour has died down - and people realise how much poorer they are. A gas boycott of the EU bankrupts Russia faster than it freezes Europe, and Qatar's LNG, American shale-gas, and the EU gas inter-connectors make this a pretty poor time to play that game anyway. They can't sell gas to China until they've built a new pipeline and LNG infrastructure is no quicker to create.

      3. zaax

        Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

        Sounds like he is doing a Mugabe or a Kim Jong-un ie going mad, but the only problem with that is he has a self destruct button and the USA won't go in because of MAD

        1. Naughtyhorse

          Re:but to be on the safe side...

          maybe investing in munitions stocks would not be an altogether rash move.

          It's hardly like no other western politician has never started a war to help with public opinion.

          to save time, I'll list the ones that haven't:

          so there we have it then!

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

        He's not crazy. He's just called the Western bluff. Both sides truly believe that democracy and human rights and all that is bullshit good for the plebs (elections ahoy), and what it's really about is who's got bigger dick. But they decided (gentlemen s' agreement) to screw available holes "gently", to make it look like they do it democratically and humanly, not to make other boys jealous. But new times (postmodernism, eh?) call for new measures, pushing boundaries, etc., and Putin decided that if he waved his dick in public, rather than just show his bulging underwear, the other boys won't dare protest too much, because, really, fucking an available hole is pleasurable and profitable, and trading blows with other boys... well, only every now and then, and on top of the will (none) you need some muscle (none). The only risk he's running is that he has exposed their posturing and no boy likes being exposed in full view of the worldwide plebs for what they really are: lying cunts. So, as the boys don't dare pick up a fight with Putin, they will do what such boys do - piss in his vodka, make rude gestures (from afar), you-can't-play-with-us thing. This, itself, is little harm in comparison with the gains, but might last a while and be a little annoying to Putin. That said, there's a long tradition and practice of "siege mentality", so it does help to rally the Russian plebs around the cause of the motherland (apparently some 80% of Russians support their little (?) Hitler, no need to "adjust" the poll results here).

        1. AltesSchlachtross

          I See Most Of You Have Been Nicely

          ..inflamed by western propaganda.

          Mr Putin could equally point out that the Maidan coup d'etat was financed by U.S. "NGOs" and the new+illegal president of Ukraine has been determined by a Ms Nuland from the U.S. state department.

          He could finally point out that he merely reciprocates the nasty tricks of U.S. and New York interests (which are not necessarily the same or subsets of each other).

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: I See Most Of You Have Been Nicely


            Mr Putin could equally point out that the Maidan coup d'etat was financed by U.S. "NGOs" and the new+illegal president of Ukraine has been determined by a Ms Nuland from the U.S. state department.

            He could indeed. It would be total bollocks though. It's pretty clear that there are lots of dissatisfied people in Ukraine ready to protest spontaneously. It's also pretty clear that big demos and building occupations have more political effect than anything else. Which is because Ukraine doesn't have a working political system, and is corruptly run by a small bunch of oligarchs. Even more so than Russia.

            Also Ukraine's old regime collapsed. There was no coup, although there might have been about to be. They lost support from their own party in Parliament before that could happen, and buggered off. Parliament picked the new government and called elections. Which is as legal and democratic as was possible at the time.

            The US interfered to some extent. Who knows how successfully. But did so legally. Diplomats are allowed to talk to parties forming new governments you see. That's called diplomacy!

            Oddly enough though, invading and annexing parts of your neighbours is different. It's illegal. Given that Russia had signed a treaty 20 years ago promising it would respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for their nuclear disarmament - that makes it even worse.

            I've seen plenty of defences of Putin. And they're all bollocks. There is no possible excuse for the invasion of Crimea. None whatsoever. There was no attempt at honest diplomacy beforehand, and so far none afterwards. To compound the sin, the Russian government is now deliberatly destabilising a friendly (well it was friendly anyway) neighbouring country to the extent of either starting a civil war or creating conditions to allow a second invasion to annex even more of it.

            The seizure of Crimea sort of made some kind of sense. It gained a strategic port, removed some of Ukraine's negotiating leverage, re-intergrated a population with a majority that may regard itself as Russian. The referendum was rigged, but that doesn't mean that an honest one wouldn't have gone the same way - I seem to recall seeing that Crimea voted to stay with Ukraine in the 90s by 55 - 45%. So pretty close.

            Putin could have called it quits, dealt diplomatically and smugly sat back having suffered minimal sanctions for a job-well-done. Of course he's have made an enemy of Ukraine by invading it, and removing a good chunk of the voters that make pro-Russian governments possible. But he's gone on to start a civil conflict that could escalate badly. And will now struggle to back down without serious damage - whereas he's backed the West into a corner where they'll have to impose more meaningful sanctions now. Also NATO will have to seriously consider a much stronger posture in Eastern Europe. And there might be a humanitarian crisis in a next-door country with a porous border, hence millions of refugees. These are all things that Russian policy has sought to avoid.

            Which leads one to wonder. Is he the tactical genius he was made out to be? Or is 13 years in power going to his head? Or has he decided that Russia's best interests are served by some kind of return to 19th Century Nationalist conflict - or even 1930s style? It's all very odd.

        2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: some 80%

          It's 146%, as any fule kno.

      5. JLV

        Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

        Crazy like a fox then.

        Western Europe depends heavily on gas from Russia. US & especially Western Europe sell a lot of stuff to Russia. Both factors weigh heavily against the West applying really hurtful economic sanctions like what happened to Iran.

        The UN? Between its own veto and China, Russia has little to fear there.

        Obviously, no one in the West wants to go to war defending poor Ukraine.

        So where does that leave Putain? Grandstanding happily towards a public whose direct news media is controlled by the Kremlin. A public which has never really come to terms with their country becoming a second rate power. They'll gobble it up, as long as they are not themselves too badly hurt in their wallet.

        Any Western pressure short of something really painful only allows him to pose as the defender of the poor misunderstood and maligned Russian national identity. NATO re-alignment to the East? Probably a vote winner as well. He needs external "enemies" to divert attention because he sure isn't succeeding on more conventional metrics like economic growth, democratic freedoms and lack of corruption. Or even having a competent military.

        It's Georgia 2008 all over again. Didn't stop France from selling Russia assault landing ships afterwards, did it? Think Merkel is gonna cut off all her country's exports? Hah!

        That part about the internet being a CIA tool? Laughable.

        Except that Snowden showed us it was largely being abused by the NSA. Something for the US to mull about - not sure what the gains were in terms of anti-terrorism but there is a definite reputation and diplomatic cost to what the US did. Even though Putain is overstating his case quite a bit it makes it much harder to discredit him.

        Bottom line is that he will likely get away with it short term. 20 years from now is not his problem, he just needs to keep his cronies happy now. Merkel is thinking like a Western politician, facing a democratic re-election process. Putain doesn't need to as long as oil prices stay up.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

        The guy is a dictator intent on turning Russia into a communist state with a state controlled pseudo-capitolist economy.

        Unfortunately I have to admire what he has achieved for his country - he is a consumate strategest and has been playing the long game with the west for over ten years now, during which time he has manouvred Russian utilities, minerals and raw materials businesses into key positions underpinning western european economies, while the heads of those countries have bent over backwards to accommodate the oligarchs and wealthy Russian businessmen who have hungrilly started to acquire their national assets.

        It was only a matter of time before Putin started delivering the killer blows by pretty much nationalising those same businesses from under the feet of their owners, while we in the west were so preoccupied by the thought of foreign cash that our so called leaders failed to see what they were getting themselves into - and we now have zero leverage to do anything about the current situation in Crimea.

        Goes to show you should always protect your national interests first and foremost. This is NOT the time to be cutting defence budgets, and the fact that almost all investment in UKs major infrastructure projects is coming from overseas (ie China!!!) is a truly frightening thought indeed.

        Lessons need to be learnt.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

      Tony Blair doesn't think Putin is crazy...........

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

        And Gerhard Schröder named Putin a flawless democrat ("lupenreiner demokrat").

        @I ain't Spartacus

        ...and under Bismarck it still was a state governed by the rule of law.

        Unfortunately, I doubt that Putin is detached from reality. Reality is, he can do whatever he wants. All he has to "fear" are some rather weak sanctions from EU/USA.

  4. poopypants


    It's a DARPA project. In fact it used to be called ARPANET.

    1. John Savard

      Re: Nope

      Well, at least he came close.

  5. Mark 85

    Doesn't matter who "invented" it

    I think he's just upset that Russia can't control it, much like the Chinese have reacted. Or perhaps, he's just a bit nuts and wants to be king.

    1. Dave Stevens

      Re: Doesn't matter who "invented" it

      Of course it does.

      Would be a totally different beast if it had originated from another country.

      Just look at how those IPV4 addresses are allocated.

      Reminds me of when Microsoft bought 666K addresses for $7.5 million.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Doesn't matter who "invented" it

        And communism was invented by the British Library.

        It doesn't mean it was a secret British plot to destabilise Russia, split Germany in two and keep all Britain's other enemies in Africa busy fighting each other - that would be a ridiculous conspiracy.

        1. John Savard

          Re: Doesn't matter who "invented" it

          Well, Britain made outrageous demands on Kerensky, after the country had just gone through the revolution that overthrew the Tsars.

          And then Germany helpfully shipped Lenin in from Switzerland.

          So the West is responsible somewhat for Russia's agony under Communism.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Doesn't matter who "invented" it

            @John Savard: Yes, but... Britain at the time was Russia's ally and Germany's enemy so it is a tad misleading to talk of "the West" as a single entity "responsible" for anything.

    2. LarsG

      Re: Doesn't matter who "invented" it

      Yes it does, he was British.......... our Tim

      Then the US stole it and took it over. Americans like to re-write history usually by using script writers making films.

      1. Eponymous Cowherd

        Re: Doesn't matter who "invented" it

        "Yes it does, he was British.......... our Tim"

        Kind of ashamed that a Reg commentard doesn't know the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Doesn't matter who "invented" it

          Oh, I thought he meant Tim Henman...

          [Thinks: Berners-Lee sits at his beautiful black NEXT box, he's a bit stuck as to how this particular bit of code goes together, when suddenly from the radio he hears several posh voices shouting in anguish, "Come on Tim!"]

  6. Antidisestablishmentarianist


    "Around the same time, Google Maps in Russia decided to begin logging Crimea as part of Russia."


    "He has also expressed a distrust as of late for American technology. Even before slamming the CIA's supposed control of the internet, Putin's administration dumped Apple's hardware over security concerns, and opted instead for Korean firm Samsung's products."

    Samsung -> Google = Google Maps: Crimea as part of Russian

    Apple = Apple Maps: Crimea as part of Ukraine

    It all makes sense now....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Correlation

      Samsung -> Google = Google Maps: Crimea as part of Russian

      Apple = Apple Maps: Crimea as part of Ukraine

      It all makes sense now....

      Surely that should have been:

      Apple = Apple Maps: Crimea as part of Greece

      This is Apple Maps you're talking about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Correlation

        Apple = Apple Maps: Crimea as part of Greece, this is Apple Maps you're talking about.

        Was being driven by 17 year old daughter the other day, and she was using her iphone to navigate. I thought the shitness of apple maps was some kind or urban myth. Nope. It had us going in an infinite loop around the city of Bath. Unbelievable. Erm...yeah and Russia, Putin and stuff......yeah, how about those rooskies......

        1. Tim Worstal

          Re: Correlation

          " It had us going in an infinite loop around the city of Bath. "

          iPhones are not required for this. That's how Bath is designed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Correlation

            infinite loop going round in Bath? Was it clockwise or anticlockwise?

  7. IT Drone
    Big Brother

    Internet censorship object lesson

    Seems Putin is planning to show Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan how to do it properly.

  8. JaitcH

    CIA? Perhaps the ...

    Russian population has never heard of the NSA?

    Still, the gap between the CIA and the NSA is as thin as tissue paper.

  9. Florida1920
    Black Helicopters

    Just because he's paranoid....

    Having fun thinking about all the assets CIA, NSA and NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) are throwing at Russia and Putin these days. There probably are enough spy satellites hovering over Moscow to affect the weather.

    1. Grikath

      Re: Just because he's paranoid....

      It's not paranoia when you know they're after you...

      Putin, as a former KGB hotshot and "new" despot of a nuclear power knows he's an intelligence target...

      1. AltesSchlachtross

        Re: Just because he's paranoid....

        Russia normally has more than one operating mole directly in Langley and FtMeade. And had, ever since these orgs existed. They are playing the human side much better than the Americans do.

  10. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    Russia disconnects from Internet

    Idly wondering what would happen if Putin decides to cut all of Russia from the Internet.


    Rapid decrease in spam, hacks, malware, botnets, once the master command&control centres become unavailable


    Rapid decrease in pr0n, "dating" (read: prostitution) sites, and Russian mail order brides.

    Leading to brains of hordes of nerds overdriving like Scotty's warp drives trying to go warp 9001. Leading to another scenario of "paradigm shift" and "this time it's different" which will make the insanity of the dot-com and web2.0 bubbles look like lost change behind the couch cushions.

    Hmm, now I know what Civilization: Beyond Earth uses as its "Big Mistake" background...

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Russia disconnects from Internet

      An analysis of the Pros:

      The master C&Cs have not been in Russia for a long time. Russia economy is emergin out of the ex-Wild East state and the ex-mobsters who have gone legit are not particularly forgiving when their interests are affected in any way. You are more likely to find the master C&C in Ukraine or one of the failed African states now. It is still run by the same mob, just not on Russian soil.

      An analysis of the Cons

      You live in the past. The days when mail-order brides were advertised on Slashdot and shipped to key Linux kernel developers (with all the consequences) are long over. Same story - as economy improves the migratory pressure decreases.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Russia disconnects from Internet

      Hey, Michael Hoffman! "Russian mail order brides" is a late clone of American/European service.

      1. billse10

        Re: Russia disconnects from Internet

        "a late clone of American/European service."

        Good to know there are some things even the USPTO won't patent (and East Texas won't enforce) .....

    3. Tail Up

      Re: Russia disconnects from Internet

      I remember the early days of the Net, tons of pr0n and others that you mention. The hi-story spirals now, and does in Russian segment as well, with a little advance which the modern tech presently presents :-) Everything is under comstruction yet, and you won't believe, dear Hoff, how many people still do not know that the Address Space even exists. Imagine the view of them finally getting to know not only that it exists, but also what *it is*, with all power of philosophical machine which now can join the dots to have a comprehensible output on the matter, presenting this spectacular entertainment, or The Game. And Hoff, you will have no chance to not having recognised that it's indistinguishable from magic.

  11. Denarius

    forward to the past

    feels more like the cold war warriors think they are back in business. All we need now is JEH to feature in Resurrection and its done. USSR collapsed partly thru USA spending it into bankruptcy. I suspect that the Russian Federation, arisen from the ruins of USSR wishes to return the favour to an even more bankrupt USSA(sic). I considered survivalists to be nuts once.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: forward to the past

      "feels more like the cold war warriors think they are back in business"

      Many of them hope they will be. Big threats are an excuse for big government, so everybody's happy. And although the War on Terror (TM) was good whilst it lasted, the terrorists didn't deliver what was expected, so the proles started to think it was indeed a scam to justify more control of the population by political elites. But luckily, Putin's activities mean we now need NATO again, fingers on buttons, aircraft on QRA, and all that jazz.

      The only interesting thing I see about this is the extent to which the Western population think that Putin started this (largely because they believe the mainstream news spoon fed by news services that are no longer the fourth estate). Putin is a highly intelligent thug, pure and simple, but the starter for this current crisis has been two decades of meddling and regime change in central-eastern Europe by the Yanks. Even famously right wing reactionary senator Ron Paul stood up in Congress in 2008 and condemned proposals for the expansion of NATO as being purely driven by a hope to reward the new leaders of Ukraine and Georgia following US-sponsored revolutions (his words, not mine). Fast forward six years and we have more evidence of US meddling in Ukraine - having once before swung their chosen darling into power, they again felt the need for a little bit of revolution, to evict Yanukovych for a second time.

      The underlying ethnic problems between Russia and Ukraine were not started by the West. But the more recent political problems in Ukraine were, and the subsequent reaction of the US stinks of dishonesty and hypocrisy. By deliberately provoking Putin, the Yanks hoped to undermine him. Instead, I suspect he's come over as intelligent, decisive and brave in many parts of the world, particularly those many regions where democracy is weak or non-existent. Moreover, the crisis that the US has precipitated has given the world a lesson that giving up nuclear weapons reduces you to the status of a third world battleground.

      I'm sure none of this was the expected outcome of the US meddling, but looking at it all you can understand why Russians are so good at chess, and Americans have to settle for the basketball trophies.

      1. Hit Snooze

        Re: forward to the past

        I'm sure none of this was the expected outcome of the US meddling, but looking at it all you can understand why Russians are so good at chess, and Americans have to settle for the basketball trophies.

        You're joking right? The Russian economy is taking big hits as foreigners pull their money out of Russia, the Rouble has been downgraded to BBB- (which is one step above "junk" status), and most of all, Putin has effectively made the US look like the good guys again. These are not the moves of a brilliant chess player...

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: the Russian economy

          BBB- and presumably headed downwards if Russian businesses are cut off from the internet.

          Yes, there's a lot of gas over there but guess what, there's a lot of shale elsewhere that might come on stream in the near future, especially if Putin's friends decide to hike the gas price. The same probably goes for most other primary resources: Russia can either continue to sell at the world market price or it can voluntarily send its *own* economy into a nosedive. If it wants to ever be anything other than a primary producer, it needs to develop manufacturing and service industries and in the 21st century that is not compatible with firewalling the entire country off from the rest of the internet. You might as well cut yourself off from physical transport networks, or the postal service, or international finance.

          Similar advice, of course, applies to China, whose economy continues to grow as long as it sells its own people down the river, and stops growing as soon as it tries to cash in (*) any of the benefits of being an economic giant. (* like, raising living standards)

          The other "Tiger" economise of Asia learned this ages ago. Growth was phenomenal whilst they were playing catch-up. Once they caught up, they discovered that further growth was as difficult for them as it was for us.


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