back to article Cisco quits Moscow

Cisco has decided it's time to leave Russia and Belarus, almost four months after stopping operations in response to Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine. The networking giant announced it would halt operations in Russia and Belarus "for the foreseeable future" on March 3 this year. A June 23 update suggests Cisco sees no …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So, the war with Eastasia continues . . .

    1. Zolko Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia (icon, obviously)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not enough

    They have to strike targets inside Russia if you want to get Putin to stop attacking. You have to take the war to Moscow, as they tried to take it to Kiev.

    Sure, treasonous Tucker and his fellow Aparachniks in Fox News will play the "Muslims might get nukes if Putin is deposed" fear card. They're just noise.

    These pissy little sanctions aren't enough. You have to strike right inside Russia, with weapons not words, if you want them to stop their invasion and depose Putin.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: It's not enough

      It's Kyiv.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: It's not enough

        Can't expect a gun licking, nuclear bomb riding yank to keep up to date with the modern day.

        1. nintendoeats Silver badge

          Re: It's not enough

          ...Is this really so important it's worth insulting somebody over?...

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: It's not enough

            I think when that person is demanding World War 3 then yeah, it is.

            1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

              Re: It's not enough

              Here's what's funny to me, wolfy--

              You talk like it's assumed we all think like you, that this planet and it's history are worth saving or even giving a shit about.

              As if 600 years of slavery to the global north is worth preserving. Surprise to you, but some of us are so mortally exhausted of this crap that watching it all burn and dying in the conflagration doesn't seem that bad.

              But I'm sorry to interrupt, you were willfully and ignorantly presuming something...?

              1. lotus123

                Re: It's not enough

                >"Surprise to you, but some of us are so mortally exhausted of this crap that watching it all burn and dying in the conflagration doesn't seem that bad."

                "Some of you (tm)" can do the world a favor and go straight to a "dying" part. Privately. No need to involve the rest of us. We'll figure out what to do without your guidance.

                1. wolfetone Silver badge

                  Re: It's not enough


                  Well said.

                2. nintendoeats Silver badge

                  Re: It's not enough

                  I put to you that the best way to radicalize somebody is to marginalize them and tell them that their opinion doesn't matter. I'm not taking a position on the issue at hand, but I think it's important to be civil in all but the most extreme circumstances. If somebody's position is wrong, then let it fall on its own lack of merits.

    3. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: It's not enough

      You have to strike right inside Russia...if you want them to...depose Putin."

      Quite the reverse. Putin cemented his hold on power by blowing up apartment blocks in Moscow, killing hundreds of Russian civilians, and blaming it on Chechens. There is nothing Vlad "Why are you hitting yourself?" Putin would love more than if Russia was actually under attack.

      By all means send more Himars with longer range missiles, strike Russian supply lines close to the border, but any attack on Russian civilians in Russia is playing into his hands.

  3. Tubz

    I can see a lot of Cisco kit being ripped out of Russian and Belarus, Putin paranoia will insists he is being spied on or they all have backdoors, and I wouldn't be surprised.

    1. Evil Harry

      It might clear some of Cisco's six billion dollar back order queue!

  4. WhereAmI?

    And the Kremlin is now drawing up legislation to make it illegal for Western companies to withdraw from Russia and to be able to seize the company assets if withdrawal is on the cards.

    I really, really hope I'm smelling the whiff of desperation here.

    As for Cisco kit being backdoored: it leaves the Kremlin with the option of installing Chairman Xi's Huawei kit instead. According to GCHQ Huawei's switches are not backdoored (according to GCHQ, that is - but would they tell us if they found something exploitable?). However, they also state that the code is full of holes, so... Cisco leaving Russia is unlikely to slow the TLAs down that much.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      And the Kremlin is now drawing up legislation to make it illegal for Western companies to withdraw from Russia and to be able to seize the company assets if withdrawal is on the cards.

      Seems reasonable. After all, companies abandoning Russia may still owe salaries, taxes, rates, suppliers etc. But due to sanctions, US companies can't pay or even try to sell their assets. Plus the West seems to be starting to do the same, ie there's an $80m Russian yacht being forced into auction because sanctions have forced a default on a $20m loan. The owner apparently can pay, but the bank can't accept payment because sanctions.

      I really, really hope I'm smelling the whiff of desperation here.

      Depends on wind direction I guess. Perhaps it's from the direction of Bulgaria? EU & NATO member, Ukrainian neighbour and currently short one pro-EU President. The Bbc's been strangely quiet about that one, especially as it's probably a sign of growing discontent between the EU, and some of it's vassals like Poland & Hungary as well.

      However, they also state that the code is full of holes, so... Cisco leaving Russia is unlikely to slow the TLAs down that much.

      Or slow down Russia much. But Western TLA's won't have as much influence over Huawei as they do Cisco. Russia can save money and a lot of opex by switching to Huawei. As will other nations who're watching the sanctions war, and thinking maybe they don't want to rely on tech that the West can remotely disable whenever they feel like it. So if that means millions of users migrating away from Cisco & MS, that's the West's problem.

      It's also a problem for companies that took advantage of cheap Russian labor and incentives to locate manufacturing, R&D etc in Russia. Those subsidiaries can't currently trade, and will be forced off the network. Many corporates have global Cisco networks and VPNs, and would now have their Russian nodes forced offline.

      But such is politics. Manufacturing is an interesting one-

      This reality should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled down military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency. This strategy relies on flawed assumptions about the future of war, and has been influenced by both the bureaucratic culture in Western governments and the legacy of low-intensity conflicts. Currently, the West may not have the industrial capacity to fight a large-scale war.

      I'm not convinced there's any 'may' about it. Ukraine's demanding a lot of artillery, ammunition, missiles etc because a lot is being expended-

      The US shipped 7,000 Javelin missiles to Ukraine – roughly one-third of its stockpile – with more shipments to come. Lockheed Martin produces about 2,100 missiles a year, though this number might ramp up to 4,000 in a few years. Ukraine claims to use 500 Javelin missiles every day.

      Although 'use' may include 'sale'. Or rumors that Javelins and other weapons are appearing on arms black markets are unconfirmed. But we're living in interesting times. Russia still seems to be using a lot of it's own stockpiles, and probably has a lot more manufacturing capacity to replenish war stocks. Sure, sanctions will restrict availability of some components, but that will also be true for the West, ie Russia blocks exports of titanium etc.

      That could also have other geopolitical effects, if nations lose faith in the West as a reliable supplier. Adopt NATO standard weaponry, and you'll be in the queue for ATGMs, 155mm shells etc. Unfriendly nations like say, N.Korea may notice this and do the math around how long S.Korea's war stocks could last. Luckily, S.Korea has it's own arms industry, which is probably quite busy right now. Or there's Taiwan. There's a lot of war stocks pre-positioned there, but those won't last forever.

      But such is politics. Military leaders have been warning of the logistics problem and lack of investment for years. Whilst we've been fighting small wars, supply/demand has been manageable. If things flare up elsewhere in the world, our ability to respond will be rather limited.

    2. Zolko Silver badge

      ... and to be able to seize the company assets

      he's following the NATO's example: "we" were the first to seize private assets of Russian people here with the sole reason for being Russians. I can't stand these double-standards : we = good, Russians = Putin = bad.

      If it were for me, NATO would have been dismounted years ago, and Ukraine would still be neutral and at peace.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge

        "he's following the NATO's example: "we" were the first to seize private assets of Russian people here with the sole reason for being Russians."

        It all started when Russia started to seize Ukrainian soil back in 2014 and extending the operation this year.

  5. tatatata

    Don't know how much kit Russia ordered, but, if it isn't going there, will it be go to the rest of the world? And will that shorten the delivery delays?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      I doubt it. From the article-

      Cisco has already told investors that its earlier decision to stop operations in Russia cost it $200 million in Q3 alone.

      Gives some sense of the scale of Cisco's losses. But remember Cisco isn't really a hardware company, and delays are mostly due to the problems in China. Rest of the losses would come from software/services, ie being unable to license, support or sell training courses & merch to sanctioned entities/nations. So there may be an increase in grey, or I guess in this case it'd be black-market Cisco kit that's been ripped out.

      But that's part of the sanctions challenge. Under Russian law, telecomms licences need a Russian entity doing the operations in Russia. This is common for a lot of countries, the idea presumably being there's an entity inside the country's legal system with a director that can potentially be punished under that law.

      So then you get a scenario like a large ISP wants to build a PoP in Russia to peer/sell services. So PoP would operate under a Russian entity with a Russian operator licence. So sanctions would already affect internal trade/operations between that subsidiary and parent. So if that's a Cisco (or Juniper?) ISP, it'd have problems because it can no longer support tin inside Russia. Cisco could have been worse and revoked licences to kit installed in Russia, but those will eventually expire and can't be renewed, if sanctions remain in place.

      So that could have a big impact on Russian Internet (and other telecomm) services, if PoPs in Russia go dark. Workaround I guess would be to re-route outbound traffic through neutral operators. Which then becomes a political/legal challenge for a humble network designer. So if a UK engineer writes a new BGP policy that transits (or tunnels) via a neutral ISP to keep connectivity to Russia, the engineer would effectively be bypassing sanctions and could be fined/jailed/sanctioned*.

      Bigger risk, or longer term risk is finding a reliable vendor that might not be caught up in economic warfare so you can just build global networks. Cisco's already a PITA to deal with given their Oracle-style service policies, which create operational and security problems. Which was one of the reasons telcos shifted to vendors like Huawei. Cheaper, and doesn't have the same operation headaches that Cisco imposes. So companies have been looking for alternatives, and the sanctions stick might encourage acceleration, and bigger impacts to Cisco/Juniper's bottom line.

      *This happened to me as a young BGP wrangler. Offered a contract to work on an (at the time) lightly sanctioned country. At the time, it was 'just' an export ban on Western tin. Contract was for a 'Special Projects' subsidiary of a well-known and large European company. I was dubious about the legality, and was shown the contract.. Which was the first time I've seen clauses that offer to pay any fines imposed, and additional compensation if I ended up in jail. I politely declined the offer.

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