Russia wants to make its digital infrastructure more independent of the West. The Russian government has been working on the so-called “Runet” – a kind of state Internet – since 2014. A new decree now partially prohibits external hosting. However, there is no threat of a complete breakaway from the Internet for the time being.

The war in Ukraine continues to keep the world on tenterhooks. Here in Germany, however, the conflict will most likely only have a short-term impact on our everyday lives. But one thing will definitely change: Russian access to the Internet.

Because it is precisely the Western sanctions and the withdrawal of numerous companies that are hitting the Kremlin hard. It is becoming clear that Russia has adapted its digital infrastructure to the West in recent years. In order to loosen this supposed dependence somewhat in the future, the Kremlin is currently hurriedly trying to find alternatives to Western Internet services.

Russia: Digital independence is to be achieved

According to the Russian media, the government has presented a new plan of action. According to the plan, all state websites are to switch to local services and Russian infrastructure by March 11. The use of providers such as Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud will thus be prohibited unless data remains in Russia.

The use of analytics tools will also be prevented. Russian websites will therefore not be able to continue using tools such as Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel for the time being. The current step goes in the same direction as China, albeit not quite as strictly. For the time being, there will not be a big firewall.

Russia: Staying connected to the Internet

The Russian state wants to remain connected to the global Internet. Projects such as “Runet,” which has been known for years, are intended to serve more as anchors for military and government structures and thus ensure the ability to act. Perhaps a rejection of the Internet is also a good sign.

After all, it is precisely the Internet that has made it possible for us to network across countries and continents and maintain contacts worldwide . If this link to Russia is not severed, perhaps a peaceful return to the West could also occur in the near future.