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