back to article Russia acknowledges sanctions could hurt its tech companies

Russia's Ministry of Digital Development has acknowledged that sanctions may send its tech businesses to the wall, and announced a raft of measures designed to stop that happening – among them ending dependency on internet infrastructure hosted offshore and disconnecting from the global internet. News of the industry support …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    subsidies/tax-breaks

    Does that mean they are now definitely not communists any more ?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: subsidies/tax-breaks

      It's the only economic model which will work under these conditions (for small values of work) so they're going to have to go back to it, but they still haven't worked out yet that their vast amount of hoarded oligarchical wealth won't have any value, hence this intermediary step.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: subsidies/tax-breaks

        The elephant in the room is that Putin is only kept in power by his wealthy oligarchical cronies.

        A significant and sustained drop in the value of their shit will see him out on his ear and he knows this. Hence the ever more insane and outlandish posturing and blamestorming from Mad Vlad as the situation wears on.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: subsidies/tax-breaks

          >The elephant in the room is that Putin is only kept in power by his wealthy oligarchical cronies.

          How Unlike the Home Life of Our Own Dear QueenPresident

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Layout problems?

    Did somebody do an oops with the sidebar template?

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Seen this before

    The suddenly available money will be spent wisely with not a drop of waste.

  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Hey Vlad!

    Shove it up your arsenal.

    1. TimMaher Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Arsenal

      Or your Chelsea... just sayin.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh yes, I'm used to living in basements...

    "... the ability to offer jobs to foreign workers without first having visas approved, ..."

    Why would you volunteer to be a hostage?

    .

    BTW: It's been a 10+ days since y'all mentioned Kaspersky and its difficulties with one leg in Russia and one in the West. Can we have more on this cautionary tale? (Also interested as a friend is still using the AV product (cuz Win7))

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Oh yes, I'm used to living in basements...

      Well, I'd guess Kasperski are going to become a sole-supplier.

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Oh yes, I'm used to living in basements...

      "and even exemption from military service."

      Not being conscripted into a war is quite the perk, I'll need to add that to my next contract negotiation. Being able to call the war a war would also help.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Oh yes, I'm used to living in basements...

        Being able to call the war a war would also help.

        .

        Fairly recently I read the entire Wikipedia Talk pages of the Vietnam War, all 28 pages of it.

        .

        The American commentating disabused me of common misconceptions outside America.

        .

        A/ It was not a War, merely a Conflict.

        B/ Drugs were not important in the Conflict.

        C/ America in no way ever lost a war; but having skilfully achieved all their aims, withdrew proudly as Victors.

        1. John 104

          Re: Oh yes, I'm used to living in basements...

          So.... you let a bunch of rando internet 'contributors' dictate your opinion on a conflict from 50 years ago. Got it.

    3. F. Frederick Skitty

      Re: Oh yes, I'm used to living in basements...

      Not just Kaspersky having trouble - Oracle do a lot of their development in St Petersburg. On the other hand, my previous employer had outsourced all new development to a team in Kyiv, so they're screwed as well.

    4. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Oh yes, I'm used to living in basements...

      "Why would you volunteer to be a hostage?"

      You might if you live in Ukraine. Over a Million have.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Oh yes, I'm used to living in basements...

        I understand that the offers of humanitarian corridors to Russia and Belorussia are not going down well with the residents of Kharkhiv and Kyiv. They would prefer to travel to countries that have not engaged in military activities against Ukraine. It seems they fear being used as hostages (if family members are in the Ukraine army), prisoners (if of military age) or for propaganda ('Look here are some oppressed Russian speakers who have fled the genocide perpetrated by of the Ukrainian NAZIs').

  6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Not Surprised

    If true, I am not surprised at this.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So their rouble is basically worthless, their stock market non-existent... the remaining 22% of their foreign currency reserves are in physical gold based in.. Russia. They can't export anything, fly anywhere, pay for anything or import anything, since all manufacturers , distributors and freight haulage have ceased. All their aircraft have had their insurance removed with Shipping soon to follow. Their oil is effectively under embargo as they couldn't even auction Ural quality barrels at 18$ (Ok apart from Shell who weirdly waded in and bought it all at that price).

    Over the weekend it seems Asian countries alongside Switzerland started shutting down accept to cryptocurrency platforms for Russian users so that avenue is slowly closing.

    With all this in mind, how could a business even thrive, let alone exist... this is the problem with the interconnected world today.. when your economy has effectively been time-warped back to the soviet era in a matter of 10 days... oh and in the meantime you're bleeding 20 billion a day feeding a meat grinder across the border which will become your new Afghanistan. All of this because you're hunting neo-Nazis on a 'special operation'?

    RIP Russian tech industry.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: time-warped back to the soviet era

      Putin has never left the soviet era.

      And, to be honest, we've never given him a reason to.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: time-warped back to the soviet era

        Putin has never left the soviet era.

        Only as far as Russian nationalism goes. He's a fascist who nevertheless longs for the days when Russia dominated the USSR.

      2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: time-warped back to the soviet era

        "And, to be honest, we've never given him a reason to."

        This is a strange statement. What sort of reason do you think "we" (by which I assume you mean the West) would need to provide?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: time-warped back to the soviet era

          There could possibly have been more strategic planning for introducing a collapsed USSR back into the world, more a Martial Plan than a Versaille treaty land grab.

          Instead we were more concerned about job losses in our defence sector and what commission we could make on helping oligarchs funnel their money into real estate.

          Ironically the only person with a grand plan for economic cooperation was Shroder, who ended up just making Germany dependant on Russian gas.

          1. HildyJ Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: time-warped back to the soviet era

            The problem was we had a Martial plan which synced with Putin's own Martial plan (in Chechnya).

            What we needed was a Marshall plan (named after US Secretary of State George C. Marshall).

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Ukraine isn't a new Afghanistan for Russia, it's something far worse. The Soviets lost a total of about 15,000 dead in that war - which lasted nearly 10 years.

      Obviously we don't know casualty figures from this war, but I'm beginning to suspect that the Ukrainian claims aren't that far over the top - and it could be more than 5,000 dead in a week. We're missing huge amounts of the battle - which aren't making it to Twitter or journalists' cameras - because most of that stuff is coming from journos or people with smartphones in cities. But even there we've seen whole Russian light infantry formations attacking into cities without heavy support and getting slaughtered.

      One suggestion being that Russia's military comms have broken down, and so lightly armed Airborne and Rosvgardia (internal security troops) attacked into cities solo in the early days following the plan - and their support didn't materialise.

      But even though the Ukrainians are losing ground, they're holding firm outside Kiev and not even retreating much around Kharkiv and the North East. Which suggests that there's some fierce fighting going on there, which our intelligence agencies will know about because all our spy planes are up feeding intel to Ukraine (and analysing Russian tactics for us for later). The more cautious US/UK sources were estimating Russia had suffered a couple of thousand dead at the end of last week. So more dead in a week than in an average year of the Afghan war.

      The Russians can't sustain this tempo for long. They don't have many fresh units to commit and their logistics system isn't up to the job. Though I doubt the Ukranians are in much of a condition to counter-attack on any scale. But I think the equipment losses are also pretty fearsome. Something's going to have to give soon - even if it's just the war settling down into a grim stalemate for a few weeks.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        know about because all our spy planes are up feeding intel to Ukraine (and analysing Russian tactics for us for later

        Not just spyplanes. B52s from the UK bases this morning are on aerial station over Buzau, Romania - easy striking distance of Odessa. The standard Rivet joint presence and also a battlefield command plane. These are just the ones with ADS-B on so we can see them. I'm sure that the US want the B52 presence to be known.

        Also, Rzeszow-Jasionka airport is the busiest one in Poland at the moment due to C17 and C130 movements.

        1. Danny 14

          super hornets even had their transponders on yesterday flying CAP on Romanian border. Plenty UH60's going backwards and forwards too. It was decent enough to see the usual stratotanker lining up with a pair of hornets.

          Seems the sky fuel trucks have an 8 hour shift too, as they cross over on the way back to Ramstein after 6.5 hours on station.

          My mum is addicted to watching them, she got a nice picture of a pair of hercules circling to drop height, flying towards the border then the transponders went dark. She's an ex RAF SGT from the 50's and still has her marbles.

      2. NerryTutkins

        With the Russians grinding to a halt, a shit ton of supplies (food, water, medicines, and of course weapons) will have been sent in to Kyiv and other cities which are not yet cut off. Even if Russia pummels the cities from the air, they can never hold the rural areas - it's a vast country. The west will continue shipping Ukraine the latest infantry weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and the west is not going to run out of money. They will also be supplying intel from air and satellites.

        This war is absolutely unwinnable for Russia. There is no prospect, even if Kyiv falls, that the highly motivated Ukranians in the rest of the country won't have some kind of centralized command, even if it is run from inside NATO territory.

        If the Russians have not accepted defeat yet, they better start looking for what the best they can get from any peace deal is. Because the longer they go on, the worse their position looks.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          This war is absolutely unwinnable for Russia

          From OUR perspective, yes (based on a couple of factors, one being that we generally agree Russia should have NEVER done this in the first place)

          But from Putin's perspective, the general exercise of intimidation, terror and fear is most likely part of a GREATER plan. Otherwise why ELSE would he target civilians like this? Yes, Putin is a SOVIET ERA COMMUNIST, in no uncertain terms. Like Stalin.

          (the 20th century, and Stalin, called Putin and they want their USSR back)

          1. Outski Silver badge

            More a Russian Imperialist than Soviet communist/Stalinist - think Peter the Great or Catherine the Great, only instead of Tsar or Emperor, Putin calls himself President.

            1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

              A good reason for the Finns to take a serious look at joining NATO. Finland was a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire and I don't think they want to turn the clock back that far.

              1. Outski Silver badge

                Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia would likely agree there, they couldn't wait to join, and who could blame them? Apparently Finnish support for joining NATO has risen from somewhere in the 30s% to a significant majority since last year...

                Historians may also like to point out what happened to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            bombastic bob,

            Otherwise why ELSE would he target civilians like this?

            He's targetting civillians like this because he's fucked up. Make no mistake, the Russians are already burning through plan B and are on to plan C - and that's after only a week.

            Plan A was a quick, glorious victory. Using a surprise attack and special forces to decapitate the Ukrainian government. Loudly claim victory, hang a few "Nazis" and all back in time for tea and medals. I'm still not clear whether Putin's plan was to fully annex Ukraine or just to install a puppet government and bugger off - that's a question of whether he truly believes his own bullshit about how Ukraine isn't really a country, Ukrainians are just Russians with a bit of a funny accent and that it's an evil CIA imposed government that Ukrainians are desperately waiting for Russia to liberate them from.

            If he does genuinely believe all that shit, then he's stupider than we thought - and we can dismiss all idea that he's even capable of coming up with clever plans. Let alone implementing them.

            If he doesn't believe all that bullshit, then why the fuck did he launch such a stupid invasion plan, that was guaranteed to fail?

            But then his current plan B makes no sense either. If his objective is a friendly Ukraine - or at least one that accepts Russian hegemony, then bombing its cities to rubble means permanent burning hatred. Which means there can be no peace deal. But if he's not aiming for a peace deal, then how the fuck to he expect to annex and control 44 million Ukrainians in a truly massive country with fewer than 200,000 troops!

            If they lost a conservative 3,000 killed last week - then we'd expect about 4-5 times that number in injuries. How long does he expect this war to carry on, when he's taking 10% casualties a week?

            So I'm presuming the plan is to use rocket artillery to destroy a couple of cities, to force Ukraine to surrender. But on what terms?

            There is no plan. Putin is a gambler, who's mostly taken low-risk chances and got away with it. And people (I guess including him) have taken some of his losses as wins - like breaking off the Donbas from Ukraine. All that did was guarantee further conflict, and after 8 years the Russian economy never recovered from the sanctions. Now he's gone for a massive gamble in Ukraine and there are no upsides - the economic damage is massive, but the Russian army is also now fucked. It's lost massive amounts of equipment it can't afford to replace, and destroyed its reputation and morale.

            China (those other "genuis" long-term strategists) have encouraged Russian adventurism in order to distract and weaken the West. Only to see the Europeans and Americans unite in a massive blast of sanctions and new military spending, plus link up with Australia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. We're all now rebuilding our Cold War state institutions (having had this shock) and I bet they'll be turned on China next. For Russia and China, this has been a policy disaster.

            1. juice Silver badge

              > We're all now rebuilding our Cold War state institutions (having had this shock) and I bet they'll be turned on China next. For Russia and China, this has been a policy disaster.

              It certainly seems to be not going too well for Russia.

              One thing which doesn't seem to get mentioned too much is that there's a number of financial, economic and political implications if Russia is successfully able to take over Ukraine. E.g. 80% of russian gas exports go through Ukraine (which was meant to be negated by Nord Stream 2), and Russia and Ukraine produce almost a third of the world's total wheat production.

              Put simply, taking ownership of those gas pipes and wheat fields would give Russia a hell of a lot more revenue and a lot more political clout.

              Meanwhile, China is stuck in a sanctions war with the USA, and is always looking for ways to legitimise it's claims over Taiwan, so was quite happy to side with Russia.

              However, they've now seen what happens when a large but relatively inexperienced and underequipped conscript army attempts to invade a country with a modern military which has had time to prepare.

              And how the West has reacted far more strongly to this invasion than most people would have predicted, both in terms of sanctions and by providing the Ukraine with lots of weapons and other forms of indirect support.

              And how Putin has decided to up the ante by threatening to use nukes.

              And all of the global economic impacts that this war is having, at a time when we're still dealing with the shocks caused by Coronavirus. Which in turn could devastate their export industries.

              Overall, I don't think it's been a full blown policy disaster for China, but I do suspect that they're quietly shifting from tacit approval of Russia's actions to a more neutral stance.

              And the more that Putin waves his magic nuke card, the more they'll sidestep away from him...

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Overall, I don't think it's been a full blown policy disaster for China, but I do suspect that they're quietly shifting from tacit approval of Russia's actions to a more neutral stance.

                I'm not sure President Xi's inner circle are capable of honest self-analysis. Rather like Putin's regime, its becoming much more of a personal dictatorship than an autocracy.

                The Russians and the Chinese have spent the last decade poking at a divided West. Apparently seeing those divisions as encouragment to keep poking. Until eventually what's happening is that the West are realising that they're going to have to act collectively.

                What was it Napoleon said? Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake.

                But they just don't seem to be able to help themselves. Take China EU relations. China got this nice win, when the EU signed that trade and investment deal between the Trump and Biden presidencies. Biden's team asked the Europeans to hold off until he was in power and could talk about it. But they pushed ahead. Merkel even came out and said that Europe should be equidistant between the US and China. Ignoring the fact that one of those two is a vicious dictatorship running a cultural (if not actual) genocide in Xianjiang and Tibet and the other is an ally who actually pays to have troops stationed in Germany to defend it against an increasing Russian threat. Ah I still remeber the days of being ridiculed for saying Merkel's foreign policies were awful, and being told she was the best politician since sliced bread...

                But having achieved this great division between the US and in particular France and Germany (but also the rest of the EU - even though France and Germany pushed that trade agreement), China had to fuck it up. The EU put in some sanctions against minor Communist Party officials over Xinjiang, so China responded by sanctioning a bunch of MEPs. Well how were they to get that deal through the European Parliament now? All those years of effort to split the EU and US buggered up in one fit of pique!

                And now we have China's unofficial trade embargo on Lithuania, because they accepted a trade mission from Taiwan to be set up in Vinius. Well of course if you're going to embargo goods from one member of the EU, what about the others? Well for a few months the EU tried to ignore it. Germany tried to pressure Lithuania to back down. But now the EU have taken China to the WTO over it? And Australia, the US, UK and others have joined the action.

                So I'm not sure if China or Russia's governments are currently capable of seeing how badly they're screwing up. Meanwhile the big democratic economies are being forced to realise that they need to cooperate diplomatically, militarily and economically. Plus the supply chain mess caused by the pandemic is simultaneously making people look at their economic dependence on China. This is the exact time for China to be meek and cooperative, to let sleeping dogs lie and hope we decide that would be too much effort. But instead they team up with Russia to show us that if we do nothing, the world is going to get even scarier.

                1. Donchik

                  Several excellent analytical posts here. Mainstream media should consider employing some of you.

                  On China, I'm intrigued but the possibility that they've quietly supported Putin's insane views only to leverage a shift in the Wests stance towards the Middle Kingdom.

                  I could easily conceive a situation where they quietly negotiated a opening in trade with the West in exchange for Stabbing Vlad in the back.

                  After all, "Before you can stab someone in the back, you have to get behind them"

              2. Danny 14

                EU can lift quotas, you will be surprised how fast the EU could fill gaps. It is simply cheaper to let Ukraine export

            2. Danny 14

              plus he will find it harder when the government fall back to Lviv. That is getting closer to Nato borders, bad shit will happen if it spills over.

              We wont need gas to keep things warmer in the winter by that time. We will need some good factor sunblock.

        2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          It depends what you mean by 'winning'. Getting Ukrainians to accept rule from Moscow and living happily ever after is not going to happen any time soon. But Putin needs to declare some sort of victory or his tenure as president will not last much longer.

          The worry from the military analysts (at least the ones on the BBC and Channel 4 here in the UK) is that the Russians will decide that fighting in built up areas 'hand to hand' as it were is a hiding to nothing, and go for the Thermobaric* option - using a flammable aerosol to create an intense and long lasting explosion which as a byproduct creates an electromagnetic pulse and so depletes the atmosphere of oxygen that anyone who survives the intense heat suffocates. If that does not work, they may simply stay outside the cities and bombard them with heavy artillery until they are just re-arranging the rubble, or use 'battlefield' nuclear rounds.

          Of course eventually Russian conscripts who have seen and done terrible things will return to Russia and start telling their stories. There will suspiciously not be a memorial listing the names of all the dead Russian soldiers as then people would be able to count them. And, of course, the sanctions will continue to bite, particularly after the EU weans itself off Russian oil and gas, although the Chinese may take some of that.

          The Independent newspaper has an article that members of the FSB have been tipping off Zelensky's security team about assassination attempts, maybe they are also providing info on other military plans? If that is the case, then Putin's problems are really bad.

          * https://scroll.in/article/1018646/why-the-alleged-use-of-vacuum-bombs-by-russia-in-ukraine-has-renewed-calls-for-their-ban

  8. Peter D

    Voodoo economics

    So, companies can get loans at 3% if they don't lay off staff and index wages. The rest of the world, quite rightly, intends tanking the Russian economy creating all of the attendant inflation that entails. What use is a debt service cost of 3% if the inflation rate is 20% (at least) and I have to lock wages to inflation and retain staff? The only way the 3% service cost can be provided is by money printing which feeds inflation which feeds the cost of indexed salaries which feeds my need to borrow more money which is, by definition, an inflationary spiral. The only way out is to remove the locks of cheap lending, enforced indexing and staff retention.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Voodoo economics

      Rather like the Covid loans, it makes no sense as a long-term strategy: the intention is to prevent an immediate sectoral collapse that would take years to rebuild. Given that it's improbable this is a short-term issue for the Russian economy it can only be a holding move while they try to come up with a longer-lasting strategy - which could well be direct state control.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Voodoo economics

      Quite. The cost of all the incentives can only be met by printing more roubles and hence adding to inflation. They'll end up seeking economic aid from Venezuela.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Voodoo economics

        They should be able to print Roubles for quite a bit. The collapse in the economy is going to be deflationary - so printing in order to keep people in work is actually quite a sensible move - as it was with Covid support. But that only works in the short to medium term.

        The question is how much they can use the economy to substite for the imports they can no longer get. I suspect the answer is not much. Apparently the small artisanal food economy is now pretty robust in Russia, after the Russian response to Western sanctions after the Crimea annexation was a ban on imports of European luxury foods. But I suspect that's a tiny island around Moscow and St Petersburg - and not something they can do to get chips for their car plants or spares for their oil and gas drilling equipment.

        Russia's economy is a lot more globalised than it was in the Soviet era - so the pain is going to hit most sectors of it. I guess they're going to be able to ship some stuff in from China, but you can imagine the prices might be a bit high (what with their being no alternative) and sanctions from Japan and South Korea are pretty heavy as well, so they're going to struggle to get things like chips, decent computers and machine tools. Which is terrible for the long term.

        1. Danny 14

          Re: Voodoo economics

          The problem is, what are they going to pay China with? Most likely cheap oil and gas. This will then free up global supplies for the rest of the world. China will go back to cheap manufacturing having had Russia over a barrel (literally). They will also gladly sell Russia knock off chips, parts, cars etc. Proxy state almost.

  9. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Of course Russia will disconnect from the global Internet

    Being in total control of what Russians can see is Putin Khuylo's dream. Just after being in total control of what Russians can think.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Of course Russia will disconnect from the global Internet

      They won't disconnect that much, part of the war will be carried out on the Internet.

      Or perhaps the great firewall will become the great proxy.

  10. Avatar of They
    Facepalm

    So....

    Russia is bracing itself for sanctions and to remove itself completely from the internet of the world, rather than admit they are at war and the world is sanctioning them because of it.

    This is nuts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So....

      Some of us are old enough to remember "the Iron Curtain". It looks like it is being drawn shut right now - barring flights from Russia is only helping.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: So....

        they should only ban the RETURN flights back INTO Russia... (allowing people to escape)

        (Just a thought)

        not like anyone has enough room for the entire nation to escape as refugees, but still...

        1. Blank Reg Silver badge

          Re: So....

          As many of the planes are leased from manufacturers outside of Russia, and the Russian airlines will no longer be able to pay for the leases then you can expect those planes to be seized as soon as they land almost anywhere outside of Russia and their few remaining allies

        2. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

          Re: So....

          That would have been sensible considering the sanctions going on. The new-Cost of Aeroflot's fleet I've just worked out at (all in billion $, the average age of Aeroflot's planes are 6 years old).

          B777 9.3

          B737 3

          A350 0.5

          A330 2.8

          A321 4.1

          A320 6.4

          That would have been a serious chunk out of some oligarch's pockets.

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: So....

            Russian airlines now having their jets seized at international airports by the leasing companies, according to Meduza. S7 has canceled its international flights after having a jet seized in Armenia. Could end most Russian international flights if correct.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: So....

            >That would have been a serious chunk out of some oligarch's pockets.

            It's a serious chunk of Ireland's GDP.

            The leasing companies are all Irish for 'cough' tax-reasons. No way are they getting those planes back, certainly not in a saleable condition

        3. F. Frederick Skitty

          Re: So....

          While getting out of Russia by plane is now pretty tough, lots of Russians are simply driving into Finland to escape Putinland.

  11. John 104

    Or....

    Just a crazy thought here, but they could just stop being assholes and leave....

    1. Toltec

      Re: Or....

      I think the problem, for Putin at least, is that if they withdraw he is done. I think he is done anyway, it just depends how many people he kills before he is stopped. I think this was timed for the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Covid economic pressures and rising fuel/energy prices with the idea that the west would have no stomach to oppose him. It could also be a push to destabilise western economies given the cost of fuel/energy and loss of Russian supplies. I don't understand the way most people make decisions at the best of times so probably completely wrong.

  12. DS999 Silver badge

    Please let this be true!

    If Russia disconnects its regular citizens from the internet entirely, presumably leaving only their higher ups and trolls farms like the IRA, I hope the west completes the task by disconnecting Russia (and Belarus) entirely, because none of those remaining would have good intentions so there's no reason to give them access.

    1. Androgynous Cow Herd

      Re: Please let this be true!

      There is a reason to keep them attached.

      Higher ups are valuable targets and

      Troll farms can be monitored and harassed.

      See also: "Attack surface"

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