Many Russians were happy to exchange the freedoms of the 1990s for a stream of oil money and a concept of ‘order’ guaranteed by a paternalistic leader. Following western sanctions, a massive expansion of the military industrial complex secured the loyalty of oligarchs and compensated for the loss of superpower status. Putin’s popularity may be wavering, but the demands he caters to are stronger than ever.
is an investigative journalist and expert on the Russian security services. She is co-founder and co-editor, together with Andrei Soldatov, of Agentura.Ru. Russia in Global Dialogue Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, November–December 2016. Co-Publications: The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB, PublicAffairs, 2010; and The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries, PublicAffairs, 2015.
Not content with controlling service providers and intimidating users, the Kremlin is turning to China for technology to filter Russian cyberspace. Beijing is all too willing to lend a hand.
Russian hackers were able to interfere in the US election because of public receptivity to anti-establishment messages. Investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan argue that distrust in traditional media provides fertile ground for Russian disinformation.