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EXPLAINED: Why Did Russia's Internet Go Down?

Earlier this week for nearly four hours, some of the Russia's biggest websites, including its main search engine, Yandex, went offline. Possible reason: Putin’s push for Russia’s “sovereign internet."

Feb. 2

On Tuesday, Russians across the country reported they couldn’t pay their bills on banking apps, couldn’t access information on state websites and couldn’t even use the country’s main search engine to find out what was going on.

After around four hours, Russia’s Digital Ministry said the issue had been fixed though access to some websites might remain shaky for a while.

The cause? A “technical issue with the global DNSSEC infrastructure that caused sites in the dot RU zone to become unavailable.”

The ministry did not elaborate on what the “technical issue” was or say if it was the result of a hack, planned maintenance or something else entirely.

And prominent Kremlin propagandists tried their best to play down the incident.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan posted on Telegram on January 30th: “Yandex works for me, so does, and in general everything I tried to open. It’s flying. Does this mean that I am not in Russia?)”

So what caused it? According to Russian opposition sources, it may well have been part of Vladimir Putin’s attempt to create an independent Russian internet system, free from Western influence – a sovereign internet.

Watch the video above to find out more...