Inside Story

Is Putin building his own version of China’s Great Firewall?

The Kremlin tries to take control of Russia’s internet traffic.

Television has long been Russia‘s main source for news, but under the watchful eye of President Vladimir Putin.

However, the internet is fast eroding state television’s influence.

Now, through a combination of legislation and surveillance infrastructure, the Kremlin is tightening its control of all media.

A new bill going through parliament is aimed at creating a single command post from which the government can decide what information is allowed online.

Putin says it’s a defensive response to the Trump administration’s new cyber strategy. Critics say it’s meant to stave off any domestic political unrest.

Can Russia isolate itself from the global internet?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Viktor Olevich – Lead analyst at the Center for Actual Politics

Sam Greene – Director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London

Alexander Soloviev – Member and former chairman of the advocacy group Open Russia