Vladimir Putin’s an ass. Ex KGB, authoritarian, hates gays, corrupt as fuck. If he were American, he’d be a teabagger. His actions in Crimea were totally out of line. He’s like the little kid (I was like this as a little kid, too, but I outgrew it) who perked up in history class when it came time to study Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, and thought “Someday I’d like to conquer the world.”
The fact that he’s getting away with it doesn’t make him any less of an ass. There was no real need for Russia to take Crimea. They had a naval base there already (as we have one in Cuba, which is even weirder), and their commercial shipping had plenty of access to Ukrainian ports. Nobody was threatening to shut that down. Russia gained nothing, except the thrill of conquest.
Now this. He wants to start up a new internet, a Russian internet, because he thinks the Internet is a big CIA plot. Good luck with that. If he succeeds in setting up a Russian version of the internet, it will only be visited by Russian speakers. Admittedly, that’s a pretty large number of people, but compared to the number of people who use the real internet it’s small potatoes.
Russian scientists are still going to want to use the real internet because, despite Russia’s great contributions to science over the years, the vast majority of the world’s scientists are not Russian. Some are American, some are British, some are Brazilian, and Indian, and Korean. If Putin doesn’t want Russia to fall behind in science, he’ll have to continue to allow access to the real internet.
Russian cat lovers are going to want to stay on the real internet, because there are so many cute photos of cats. Putin may have a point that the CIA is using the internet to spy on everybody, but even the CIA doesn’t have the manpower to keep up with the sea of crap that is facebook.
Also, if he wants to separate Russian users from the rest of the world, he will be depriving thousands of hot, young, Russian women of gainful employment in the porn industry. A loss for Russia and a loss for the world.
Putin’s past actions have shown that he may be enough of an ass to actually try and pull this off, but I’d rate his chances of success as doodly-squat. Sure, a couple of countries – Iran and North Korea are the examples that spring to mind – have placed limits on the internet, but one should note that those countries are not doing so well in their international relationships.
Give it up, Vlad. You didn’t invent the internet, and you don’t control it. The CIA doesn’t even control it, although I’m sure they’d like to. If you try to turn it off, a whole lot of Russian people will be seriously pissed off at you. Not to mention the rest of the world.