Russian Propaganda Targets US Cyber Warfare
Russian President Vladamir Putin and his government keep propagating and bringing up U.S. strategic programs utilized during the Cold War. One example referenced was QRHELPFUL, a program used by the CIA to instill a western style of governance in Poland. However, a new Russian law taking effect November 2019 is meant to create further isolation from the West via a new sovereign Russian internet.
Russian fear-mongering tactics are targeting Russian citizens and claiming the U.S. is on the offensive. When in reality, the U.S. is implementing countermeasures in response to Russian information warfare attacks on the West.
To understand Russia and its mentality, the best read to this day is The Marquis De Custine and His Russia in 1839, which is viewable here. Blacklisted by Russia, his journals also give one of the most highly regarded and most fascinating insights into Russia. Journey For Our Time: The Journals of the Marquis de Custine Russia 1839 was published in paperback in the West in 2001.
Furthermore, it is important for the U.S. to understand the Russian mentality in order to successfully utilize cyber warfare countermeasures and the only way an offensive can be successful is if Russia as a nation and empire is understood. The colossal issue is Putin and Russia’s desire to close off Russian cyberspace by 2021. Some predict Russian cyberspace will be completely closed off in the same way China’s Great Firewall blocks everything outside of China. November 2019 and the new amendment №608767-7 to the Russian Communications law and to the Russian Sovereign Internet is just a step toward the complete closure of Russian cyberspace
Internet providers starting November 2019 are required to only install equipment dictated by the new law. However, blockage of information and control will be done through centralized government groups dedicated to the cause within Roskomnadzor (Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media).
According to Chapter 7 in the new law, so-called training exercises by Roskomnazor allows Russia to block for a few hours at at time Instagram, Youtube or any other sharing mediums.
Chapter 10 allows in a case of emergency, as deemed by the Russian government, to disconnect all sharing of information domains and messengers and to store all domains within Russian networks and delete them.
Nevertheless, as in during the Reagan Era Arms race, Russia blames the U.S.’ 2018 strategy against Russian information warfare as the reason for a need for a sovereign Russian internet.
Russia’s new sovereign internet has many similarities and parallels to China’s Great Firewall, one of them being domain control.
Belarus already looks similar to China. Clearly, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Putin discussed the lockdown of the internet together. Recent comments made indicate possible cooperation and utilization of Russian firewall resources and unifying similar rules between the two countries. Beginning next year, Belarusian nationals will be issued unique ID cards that will be used to access the internet and all other government services, which are similar to the We Chat ID numbers issued in China.
The main effects will be felt by western businesses that have joint-ventures and offices within the Russian Federation. The fear of cyber warfare instilled in Russian citizens is only increasing. Russian children are being indoctrinated at a young age. Russian military academies allow children as young as seven years old to start marching in formations and assemble and disassemble weapons like the Kolashinikov. Children are incentivized with preferential points to elite schools and universities in the future and advanced access to patriotic based trips and organized events within Russia. They are also trained to avoid any western sites and mediums – Russia claims the U.S. is utilizing them to cause cyber warfare against Russia.
How many former Soviet Republics will soon be blocked from Western sourced media? Then we will have it, Putin’s dream of the resurrection of the Soviet Union with a cyber Iron Curtain wall as a backup. The U.S. has to implement every strategy and countermeasure possible but first must understand the Russian mentality to succeed in a cyber battle with Russia and China.