Putin to unplug Russia from the internet: Russian leader to introduce draconian measures that would see country switch off 'in emergencies'
- Web has been a focus of Kremlin criticism over the Ukraine conflict
- The new measures would be to prevent it operating internationally in a crisis
- Claim Russia must ensure security due to West's 'complete unpredictability'
Putin insisted that Moscow should be ready for emergencies caused by the 'unpredictable' West
Vladimir Putin is poised to introduce draconian measures to unplug Russia from the Internet in emergencies caused by the 'unpredictable' West, it was claimed yesterday.
The web is seen as the last bastion of glasnost - or openness - in Moscow, but now there are fears new curbs will be imposed as they have been on TV and newspapers.
The Russian president is summoning a Monday session of his powerful Security Council over the issue.
'Taking into account the complete unpredictability of the United States and European Union, Russia is taking measures to ensure its own security,' Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP.
It was vital to act due to 'the unpredictability of our foreign partners', he insisted.
He claimed Russia should be 'ready for anything' after the worst rift with the West since the Cold War.
Vedomosti newspaper said Russia was aiming to strengthen the 'sovereignty of the Russian segment of the World Wide Web'.
This could include powers to unplug Russia from the World Wide Web in 'emergency' situations.
These might be protest rallies or military hostilities, the newspaper said citing sources.
The web has been a focus of Kremlin criticism over the Ukraine conflict, and the aim would be to prevent it operating internationally in any crisis.
The country's citizens would only be able to use a Russian-wide web.
This week a major social networking site VKontakte fell completely under the control of a company in the empire of Kremlin-friendly Alisher Usmanov, also a major shareholder of Arsenal Football Club.
'We have a highly reliable backup plan, which maybe discussed at the Security Council meeting,' said a source.
The move follows calls from politicians to isolate the Russian web from the US and EU internet which are seen as subversive.
An Ukrainian serviceman is pictured on the top of an armoured personnel carrier in Donetsk district, eastern Ukraine, which has suffered months of shelling. The web has been a focus of Kremlin criticism over the Ukraine conflict, and the aim of new measures would be to prevent it operating internationally in a crisis