The image above shows the dictator of Libya and the dictator of Russia flying in attack aircraft to bomb their own populations in to submission, with the Russian using a computer attack rather than an explosive. It is the work of the genius Russian cartoonist Sergei Yelkin, better known as Ellustrator, an refers to a recent massive cyber attack on the Live Journal blogging network in Russia which shut down the entire service for the better part of a day (even the blog of so-called Russian “president” Dima Medvedev was affected — interestingly, Vladimir Putin is not a blogger and was left unscathed). A few days later a massive attack was launched on the website of Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s leading opposition newspaper. Both Anton Nosik and Alexei Navalny, the two titans of the Russian blogosphere, made it clear that the Putin Kremlin was to blame, in preparation for the rigging of the next presidential “elections.”
Mikko Hypponen, the Chief Research Officer of Internet security firm F-Secure, has said of such attacks, “Launching DDoS attacks against services like Facebook is the equivalent of bombing a TV station because you don’t like one of the newscasters.” Most of the infamous political attacks in recent memory, including those involving Estonia and Georgia, have been organized by Russia and on a scale likely to require the presence of the Russian government.
Consistent with its malignant designs on the RuNet, last week it was announced that the Kremlin was hard at work on a new supercomputer whose sole purpose would be to scrutinize the output of Russian blogs and permit the Kremlin to pick out any offending blogger and pick him off with ease. Lawsuits, jail, threats, murder, all are readily available weapons that the Kremlin can deploy — or it can simply cut off access as it recently did in regard to Live Journal.
It’s not just that Putin is acting like his Libyan counterpart, of course. Russia has actively supported Libya against NATO and the West from the first moments of popular insurrection. It refused to support the broad-based coalition in the United Nations, it accused Western forces of causing massive civilian casualties without saying a word about the civilian casualties caused by the Libyan regime, it predicted Libya would defeat the West and it demanded that U.S. President Obama return his Nobel Peace Prize because he joined the coalition.
It is a sad, sick commentary on the state of Russian mentality that the Kremlin would wish to side with a Libyan dictator’s values, the values of a rogue regime condemned by the entire world, than with the mainstream values of democracy and human rights. But it is not surprising. Russians, after all, have chosen to be governed by a proud KGB spy who simply does not place any value on individual human lives or on democracy. Given that, we will undoubtedly see Russia burst into flames just as Libya has recently done, and suffer the same ultimate fate.