EDITORIAL: Russia and the Internet


Russia and the Internet

As we’ve said before, we feel that the most pernicious lie being circulated by the Russian Kremlin and its Russophile apologists is that it doesn’t matter if the Kremlin crushes the life out of news reporting on television and in print because Russia’s Internet can pick up any slack there may be.  Of course, such a position is illogical, since if it were true the Kremlin’s frenzied efforts to dominate TV and newspapers would be a laughable waste of time, and not even the Kremlin is that stupid. It isn’t, of course, because  for two simple reasons hardly anybody in Russia can get their news from the Internet.   First, it costs too much. When the average national wage is $3/hour and inflation is double-digit, people have better things to do with their money. Like eating and staying warm.  Second, it’s under seige. Bloggers have been arrested and prosecuted, they’ve been threatened and attacked, and service providers have been shut down outright.

The data, even Russia data, proves this beyond the shadow of any doubt.

According to the latest data from the Levada Centre, the least incredible of Russia’s various state-influenced polling agencies, as of January of this year less than one in three Russian families has a home computer.  That means that two-thirds of all Russian families cannot get their news from the Internet even if they want to. They must rely entirely on state-dominated television and state-controlled national newspapers.  What’s more, when asked whether they can access a computer at work the percentage increases only slightly.  59% of Russians say they never have access to a computer either at home or at work.

As for that sliver of Russians who do have a home computer, the percentage with daily access to the Internet drops still further.  A truly stunning 16% of respondents told Levada they use the Internet every day.  The other 17% of Russians with home computers can only afford Internet access on a weekly (8%) or monthly basis. And the data shows that it is heavily skewed towards more highly-educated Russians, meaning that ordinary Russians have virtually no access to the Internet at all.

A whopping 74% of Russians never use e-mail, while just 12% use it more than once a week.

The ignorance that results from this is easy to predict and imagine.  To make it vivid, we’ll just say this:  The link to Levada’s data above was given to us by a Russophile commenter who thought it proved the Kremlin was right.  This trash can’t read, it hasn’t learned how to, because reading implies substance and the Kremlin, just like the USSR before it, couldn’t care less about substance. All it wants is the right kind of lies, told often and loudly by people who have guns and knives and clubs and radioactive poison and aren’t afraid to use them.

This ignorance, of course, explains why Russia doesn’t rank in the top 130 nations of the world for adult lifespan, why it is quite literally going extinct.  No industrial nation can survive this kind of ignorance, much less stay competitive in it.  The USSR couldn’t, and neither can Russia.

31 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russia and the Internet

  1. As usual well said LR! It is a sheer pleasure to be able to read your factual, honest and excellent publication.

    This article proves beyond a doubt that sadly “there are none so blind as those that can see but do not see”, for one reason or another.

  2. Sergey Shelukhin

    You post this one lifespan thing in every other post as if you had no other bad things to say about Putin’s Russia. How is it relevant to the internet access, for example? You could post some political statistic already.


    Truth hurts, doesn’t it knucklehead? Did you really think some cheap reverse psychology would work on us, Mr. KGB?

    Here’s how it’s relevant: Russian approval of Putin is the same as the level of Internet denial, roughly 80%. Russian’s DON’T KNOW about Putin’s demographic failure because state media DOESN’T TELL THEM. They don’t have Internet, so they can’t read this blog and find out the truth. They don’t demand change, and the demographic crisis continued.

    If you really cared about the people of Russia, rather than just rationalizing their government to keep it in power, you’d want us to raise this issue MORE and you’d call for reform to save Russian lives. Instead, you argue for allowing the situation to continue at the cost of Russian lives. You are the true hater of Russia.

    • I think LR don’t know how to use internet properly. Otherwise they would know that population drop were constantly decreasing since 2000. Of course when someone is taking all the info from yellow pages like LR, it’s hard to know such things.

  3. Ha ha ha! It is very fun! I am agent KGB, and i like eating children… This blog isnt true, really. We have many internets, and can write all, as we want.

    Sorry for my bad english.

    Из России с любовью! Кстати, про ваш сраный бложик мы знаем, у нас есть замечательный сайт иносми. Все равно третью мировую нам проиграете.

    • Your illiteracy obviously prevents you from grasping the point of this post, which is not how MUCH Internet you have or how FREE it is BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN ACCESS IT. And that number is 16% according TO RUSSIAN SOURCE.

      So if you have a problem with that, Mr. KGB, you should speak to Levada Centre and get them to change their data more to your liking.

  4. Fedor = RooSSiyski Wastetard,

    China is eating your butt alive in the East as RoSSiyskis try to “nibble on Western Europe”

    No sane country trusts mangy Moscali so no investments, or business ,other than selling antique weapons to Black and Hispanic rogue regimes.

    You loose Rooshan Territory in the East, along with the resources. Vladivostok riots had to be quelled by troops from Moskva.

    Meanwhile Enjoy your Heroin and Aids junkies. Compliments of the FSB in Tajikistan.

    @Все равно третью мировую нам проиграете.

    Nah, won’t be enough Rashans left for that war. Just like the collapse of Savok. No one would even want to screw your women without a garbage bag over their heads.

  5. You want speak me about life in Russia? It is strange, isnt it? Only stupid stereotypes, only outrageous lie.

  6. Probably have more information on RoooSha then you will ever have. I don’t even worry about a knock on my door.

    I have found out in the past that the greatest amount of lies, though not all come from RaSSiyski meat heads such as yourself.

    The real Russians (not the liars) have been poisoned, beaten to death, shot, launched from buildings or irradiated.

    You Fedor, don’t have to worry. At least not until you grow a brain.

  7. China need a new outlet. Russia – bad outlet. Small population. Our resources cheap for China. You heard about new oil contracts with China? USA print green paper for real products and resources, USA the world terrorist and agressor. But it finish soon. War with Russia you cant begin. All, what usa can – kill rebels with bad guns. You willnt can win war in the Irak.

  8. George – you was in Russia?

    • @Ha ha ha! It is very fun! I am agent KGB

      The Ossetian or the Belarusian KGB?

      Seriously now, speaking English like that actually makes you look like a cartoonish caricature of a KGB agent. It’s “very fun” indeed :)

  9. Rooski Soviets and more troops with a kill everything that moves policy, had to leave Afghanistan. A humiliation that brought down all of Savok.

    I-R-A-Q is pacified or pussyfied, enough to leave it mostly on its own, with the Petroleum Sharing Agreements that we wanted to trade oil for in Dollars.

    Further more the Taliban will win in Afghanistan. US will withdraw and it will be RaSSiyski problem again. More problem for you than America. There will be a pipeline out of the Caspian through Afghanistan into Pakistan and the Indian Ocean.

    Roosha has the whole world against it except for Nicaragua and Honduras. Why is that all your neighbors hate you and decide to be in NATO if they were allowed?

    Are you sure you don’t want to kill yourself with that Tajikistan Heroin? In America there is cocaine much better and more expensive but not as deadly. I am sure you can only afford vodka. Either way you will die young. Did you get your Pootin Tatoo on your a$$ yet?

    • Sergey Shelukhin

      How about Afghanistan? You’re about to be stuck there longer than USSR, with more personnel (army and contractors, not counting even other “coalition” troops) committed.

    • Oh, i hope yankies will leave Afghanistan as soon as possible, ’cause their presence somehow affects how much drugs we get from there. More yankies – more drugs, less yankies – less drugs. Maybe when there will be no yankies, the drug flow from Afghanistan to Russia will stop or at least decrease to some sane value. But i’m afraid it will never happen – i don’t remember the exact numbers, but it’s somewhere arount 50.000 american soldiers there, prove me if i’m wrong. 50.000 of men who know how to deal with guns and who will realise that there is no job for them once they are back in USA. I think they will get angry.

  10. It’s “siege” (“besieged”, etc).

  11. Sergey Shelukhin

    To LR:

    1) low lifespan usually doesn’t result from low internet penetration.

    You somehow fail to mention that main lifespan drop was during 90ies, pro-Western Yeltsin carrying out liberal reforms.
    How’s Putin to blame for that.

    2) “read the truth” on your blog? That’s a good one. Your blog is so blatantly one-sided, lie-filled, and hate-filled, if you were tasked to “tell the truth” to socialistic hippies you’d turn them into communistic terrorists in no time, so appalled and enraged they’d be.

    3) Putin’s approval ratings are high because Putin’s reign coincided with growth of quality of life for most Russians and rise of international ambitions; both are facts (levels rose, even if not because of Putin, and ambitions too, regardless of whether it makes sense in long term).

    • Thanks for proving our point about ignorant Russians!

      Instead of decrying Russia’s lifespan issues and demanding reform, you rationalize them and justify continued failure. Russians’ short lifespan results from IGNORANCE and LACK OF REFORM. It results from Russians being STEEPED IN PROPAGANDA from state-owned media rather than hearing actual facts on the Internet.

      Instead of demonstrating the slightest inaccuracy in our blog, you resort to pathetic smears, slurs and ad hominem attacks. Meanwhile, your suggestion that you offer readers the full picture about Russia is so laughably hypocritical our sides are splitting from the hilarity.

      This blog isn’t written in Russian, so most Russians can’t read it. We’re not the source we want them to access, you mindless dolt. BUT LEVADA IS, AND RUSSSIANS CAN’T READ LEVADA BECAUSE THEY CAN’T ACCESS THE NET. Get it, Mr. Baboon?

      Please stop lying. Putin’s ratings are high BECAUSE RUSSIANS DON’T KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM. They only know what the media he controls tells them, just as in Soviet times. If they read the Internet, they’d think differently.

      80% of Russians have no Internet access.

      80% approve of Putin.

      Think about it, you illiterate Gorilla. If you can think, which we doubt.

    • Actually Sergey, you show your stupidity and ignorance as usual.

      The demographic catastrophe that hit Russia in the 90’s was a direct result of Soviet policies, the collapse in living standards, health care, and the resulting decrease in life expectancy were already occurring in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

      Due to the Russian tendency to lie about everything, and conceal relevant information, this only became public knowledge during the Yeltsin era. You follow the usual Russian dodge of blaming all your problems on the west, when as usual you only have yourself to blame.

      Of course this is the same Russia that is now rightly considered to be the equal, though in reality much worse, of Hitlers Nazi Germany in number of innocent people killed in the 20th (and now 21st) century.

      So no surprises here.

  12. @How about Afghanistan? You’re about to be stuck there longer than USSR, with more personnel (army and contractors, not counting even other “coalition” troops) committed.

    Wrong, the “Limited Contingent of Soviet forces in Afghanistan” (aka the 40th Army and attached formations) was much greater, more than 100,000 at a time, over 600,000 total (not counting many more local communist forces – around half million at a time, btw most of their losses were actually to desertion).

  13. There is no doubt that the Russian demographic situation is due to the policies of its current President, just as the demographic situations in other countries are due to the policies of **their** current Presidents. Just look at the statistics:


    Population decline

    Table:1 Population Decline in Percent by Country

    Russia 0.04%

    Of course, Andrew’s Georgia shows how wonderful the rule of its wise and democratic President Saakashvili (wrongfully criticised by his opposition of committing aggressions) is:

    Georgia 0.325%

    Yes, Georgia is losing its population 8 times faster than Russia, primarily due to emigration from this wonderful place, most of this emigration being to the terrible Russia.

    Of course, Georgia’s loss is peanuts compared to its fellow NATO aspirant Ukraine:

    Ukraine 0.561%

    Again, most of this loss is due to mass emigration to the hellhole Russia. Thus Ukraine is losing its population 14 times faster than Russia.

    Of course, NATO membership brings on even faster decline:

    Bulgaria 0.813%

    Bulgaria is losing its population 20 times faster than Russia, mostly due to declining life expectancy.

    Many other NATO countries are also blessed with higher population declines than Russia:

    Estonia 2008 0.632%
    Latvia 0.629%
    Hungary 0.307%
    Lithuania 0.284%
    Romania 0.136%
    Slovenia 0.088%
    Czech Republic 0.082%
    Poland 0.045%
    Germany 0.044%

    I wonder if all these declines are due to Putin killing people in all these countries…

    • Once again our retarded little troll Michael Tal forgets to mention the REASONS for population loss.

      In Russia it is through an appalingly high death rate, many more deaths than births.

      Georgia has a much higher birth rate than Russia, and a much lower death rate too.

      Yes, many Georgians do emigrate, but thats normal for all small countries (look at New Zealand or Ireland for example, both absolute paradise compared to (whore) mother RuSSia).

    • I wrote:
      > most of this emigration being to the terrible Russia.

      Andrew replied:
      > Michael Tal forgets to mention the REASONS for population loss.

      I guess you have learnt how to write but not to read.

      > New Zealand or Ireland

      Are you sure that there is a large emigration form modern New Zealand or Ireland?

      Just look at:


      … cash sent home by the nearly 1 million Georgians who work in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

      And the vast majority of these workers are men. That’s about 60% of all Georgian males of working age. And in Moscow and St. Petersburg alone. Hundreds of thousands more work in other Russian cities, especially those that are closer to Georgia.

      And why is it that in Soviet times, the population of Georgia skyrocketed and few wanted to leave Georgia for Russia, but as soon as Georgia became independent, millions of Georgians have left for Russia?

      • Being a New Zealander, yes I am sure there is a very large emigration from New Zealand, mainly to Australia, the UK, US and EU.

        It is called “white flight” in some New Zealand newspapers, it is covered by mass immigration to New Zealand from China and the Pacific Islands.

        In addition, the majority of Georgian emmigration is currently to the US, EU, & Turkey, and also to places such as Australia and New Zealand.

        The vast majority of Georgians living in Russia have been there since before the collapse of the USSR. Current figures for Georgians living in Russia are 1,000,000 of all ages, sex etc.

        Your comment “Millions of Georgians” have left for Russia is the usual Russian BS.

        I am sure that a person such as yourself has forgotten to read. You did not state the reason for Russian demographic failure (unprecedented in a stat of its size) as being due to a low birth rate and rediculously high death rate.

        Georgia for all its problems still has much better birth rates and length of life for men and women than Russia.

      • Andrew wrote:
        > The vast majority of Georgians living in Russia have been there since before the collapse of the USSR. the majority of Georgian emmigration is currently to the US, EU, & Turkey.

        Please stop lying:


        WB Report: Georgia Among Largest Emigration Countries

        Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Jan.’07

        As a portion of the population, Georgia is one of the largest emigration countries in the world, according to a new World Bank report.

        Migration from Georgia to Russia has been particularly common.

        The 2002 population census in Georgia revealed a net migration loss of 1.1 million persons, or 20% of the population, since the early 90s.

        The amount of money transferred from abroad to Georgia in 2006 increased by 35.5%, according to the Georgian National Bank.

        Most of the funds – 66.8% – were transferred to Georgia from Russia

        You are pathetic.

        • Now Michael,

          That was in Schevernadze’s time my little friend.

          The situation in Georgia has improved massively since 2003.

          Try using some more recent data.

          Emigration since 2002 has been predominantly to europe, Turkey and the US.

          Then we have the fact that Russian figures are notoriously unreliable at best (Russians are such lying scum), in 2002 (while Russian officials claimed 1,000,000 Georgians in Russia), the actual official statistics only showed 197,934.

          Nowdays it is not uncommon for Russian officials to claim 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 or even 4,000,000 Georgians live in Russia.

          However, this does not change the fact that the majority of Georgians living in Russia have done so since before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

          The majority of post soviet emigration to Russia ocurred in the Sheverdnadze period, when Russia deliberately smashed the Georgian state and deliberately undermined its economy.

          The Russians tried this again in 2006 when the Georgians arrested 4 Russian officers on espionage charges. Russia instituted a blockade on air travel, postal services, banned Georgian imports and deported tens of thousands of Georgians (many packed like cattle into Il-76 transports).

          To this day (as noted in the EU report on last years war) Official state racism and opression of and against Russian citizens and residents of Georgian ethnicity is morally reprehensible and a major concern.

          Now Michael, you are the pathetic one.

          Look at Roberts total demolition of your retarded and lying comments on the thread about the EU report.

          You remind me of Phobokapo.

        • @Please stop lying:
          @You are pathetic.

          And who’s saying this.


          @The 2002 population census in Georgia revealed a net migration loss of 1.1 million persons, or 20% of the population, since the early 90s.

          Now go and check the population changes in the peace-loving “independent countries” Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In Abkhazia since 1990 (whoops, where’s the MAJORITY of the people? including many, many ethnic Abkhaz?). In South Ossetia also in the last 2 years.

          Abkhazia 1990: over 500,000
          Abkhazia 2007: about 200,000

          • > where’s the MAJORITY of the people?

            In Russia, of course.

            Since the break-up of USSR, people from all ex-Soviet non-Baltic republics have been moving to work in Russia in droves. Millions upon millions. If you want to meet them, along with Turks – just come to Moscow’s construction sites, markets, or take taxis.

            • They come moscow to work, because moskali do not want to work, or earn an honest day’s pay. Also, the moskali can use the millions of workers to fool the world that their population is increasing

              The moskali have occupied other nations for centuries, to have serfs and slaves, to build their cities and infrastructure, and to feed them. Now the moskali cry because they can not win their love?

            • @In Russia, of course.

              Actually, no. Mostly in Georgia proper (former ethnic Georgian majority of Abkhazia).

              But actually some 2/3 of the ethnic Russians in Abkhazia (less than 100,000) went (back) to Russia in the 1990s and never returned (and Russians also left even the Russia’s Caucasian republics).

              As of “Turks”, very many ethnic Abkhaz live in Turkey. Actually many, many more than in Abkhazia – half million, while only some 100,000 Abkhaz live in Abkhazia.

              Funny that, guess who’s to blame for this? Why, of course Russia (the Russian Empire).

  14. Andrew wrote:
    > So no surprises here.

    None whatsoever. Just look at the population statistics of Georgia:


    The graph there clearly shows that under the oppressive Soviet regime (which, acording to the EU Report, treated Georgians as the mot privileged citizens), the population of Georgia was skyrocketing from 1952 (the death of Georgia’s native Stalin) to 1992 (the date of separation from Russia). And starting with 1992, the Georgian population has been dropping like crazy, due to mass emigration to Russia:


    Thus, it’s all the fault of Yeltsin and Putin. It is they who made Russia the place where Georgians want to emigrate to escape the great democratic Georgia! Russia is to Georgia what USA is to Mexico:


    … cash sent home by the nearly 1 million Georgians who work in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    That’s right: 1 million Georgians work in Moscow and St. Petersburg alone.

    In other words, 25% of Georgians now live in Moscow and St. Petersburg. That’s orders of magnitude higher than the percentage of **Russians** who live in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    Here are some other quotes from this Foreign Policy report from 2006:


    Georgia’s Dangerous Game

    By Jon Sawyer Page 1 of 1

    Posted October 2006

    Washington has helped to fuel this crisis—by showering Georgia with cash and praise, by extending the promise of NATO membership, and by standing silent as Saakashvili and his government made ever rasher attacks on Russia.

    Due in large part to American largesse, Georgia’s overall military expenditures shot up 143 percent last year. Flush with cash and the superpower’s blessing, the American-educated Saakashvili has become more brash with time, seizing every opportunity to stick it to the colossus to the north.

    Saakashvili’s claim to be fighting the good fight against a hegemonic Russia has been dented by the way he’s handled his country’s own territorial disputes. He came to power promising to reunite Georgia with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two regions that broke away in the bloodshed following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He has spent more time rattling sabers than building trust, however, with the predictable result that many of the residents in those regions have taken Russian passports and now look to Moscow, not Tbilisi, as the more reliable engine of jobs and security.

    Saakashvili has also come under fire for his management of the parts of Georgia his government controls. Ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijanis say they are as marginalized as ever. Human Rights Watch, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and other outside groups have documented judicial corruption, police abuse, and the gross mistreatment of prison inmates, including the deaths of seven prisoners last March in a “riot” that critics say was set off by prison authorities themselves.

    That same week in Tbilisi, hundreds of demonstrators protested the government ’s alleged cover-up of the Interior Ministry’s involvement in a high-profile murder. One of the country’s most prominent television newscasters quit her job on camera, to protest attempts to censor the news at the government-affiliated channel.

    And where was Saakashvili during all the turmoil? He was at the White House, basking in the glow of President George W. Bush’s praise. Saakashvili “is a man who shares the same values I share,” Bush said. “He believes in the universality of freedom.” Bush even singled out Saakashvili’s work in law enforcement, the issue that had sent protesters to the streets and brought the sharpest criticism from groups like Human Rights Watch…. Bush said, ignoring critics who say that the Georgian president has run roughshod over basic human rights.

    If Saakashvili gets the war with Russia he has sometimes appeared to seek, it is the people of his country who will pay the price. But, far away from the fighting, the United States will bear a large part of the blame.

    Back in 2006. How prophetic…

  15. Oh and BTW Michael Tal, since 2005 the Georgian population seems to have been increasing:

    “Without Abkhazia and South Osetia, the population in the regions controlled by the central government of Georgia was 4,321,500 in 2005 and 4,382,100 in 2008[4] (compare the 2008 figure with the CIA estimate of 4,630,841 for all of Georgia, including Abkhazia and South Osetia[5]).”


    It seems that a VERY large percentage of “Georgian” emmigration to Russia is actually from Abkhazia & South Ossetia, areas under Russian control since 1992-94.

    Maybe you are counting all those passports handed out in the last few years as “Immigration”??

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