- Russia lost more than $4 billion from internet disruptions last year, a new report says.
- These losses have been caused in part by Russia’s aggressive restrictions on Western social media sites.
- Moscow’s economy is facing many challenges as the war in Ukraine continues.
Putin’s social media ban was partly responsible for costing the Russian economy billions of dollars in 2023, a new report says.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Russia began limiting access to Western social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter just weeks after it launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Including time lost from social media restrictions in the first year of its war, Russia could experience 1,353 hours of internet shutdowns in 2023, affecting 113 million of its internet users, according to a study by VPN reviewer Top10VPN.
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Measuring the damage using the cost of shutdown tool from Internet monitor NetBlocks, the report found its economy lost $4.02 billion last year.
Russia recorded the largest loss of any country in the report, followed by Ethiopia, which lost $1.59 billion, and Iran, which lost $920 million from internet shutdowns last year.
Russia accounts for almost half of the economic losses caused by Internet disruptions worldwide. The global economy lost $9.01 billion from internet disruptions last year through 2023.
The cost of the Internet shutdown is the latest item in a long list of losses to Russia’s economy since the war, especially as it continues to distance itself from the West. Although Putin has stressed the resilience of Russia’s economy in the face of Western sanctions, a closer look at the Kremlin’s finances shows a much less optimistic outlook, experts say, due to the country’s huge defense spending bill that outpaces other sectors and Resources are being exhausted from industries.
Russia’s budget deficit rose to 3.24 trillion rubles, or $36 billion, last year, the country’s Finance Ministry said. Meanwhile, Moscow plans to spend a record one-third of its budget this year on its military, which could further slow economic growth, experts say.