Re: How many misroutings went through the USA or UK?
If a traceroute shows a hop, then by definition it's responded. If you're tracing to www.nsa.gov and it shows hops via .ru, then something's.. not quite right. Which is also the problem with this story, ie if it were some state-level interference, it wouldn't have been so obvious. Which is where the story drifts into conspiracy theory land. Plus anyone who's ever applied for a telecomms licence in Russia would know the conditions applied. I suspect this was the usual BGP error, with a slim chance of it being malicious. By 'cant respond', I meant a web/login server created to spoof the official versions and try to capture logins.. Assuming traffic ever managed to get beyond the edge router.
Problem with the modern Internet is more topology information gets hidden behind MPLS, which doesn't respond to ICMP. But you may be able to infer some topology changes just by looking at the latency. Which is why it's common to use it to poll for reachability or link/routing problems.