Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t use the internet because he’s afraid of spying.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Putin has become reliant on physical documents.
Russian state media reported in 2020 that Putin does not use a smartphone.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has historically avoided using the internet because he’s worried that people may spy on his activity, according to a new report.
Citing US and Russian officials, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the Russian leader has long refused to be online, fearing digital surveillance. In doing so, he has become reliant on physical documents provided by advisors — including time-sensitive material.
Updates on his unprovoked war in Ukraine, for example, could take days to reach Putin and may be out of date by the time they arrive, the report said. According to the Journal, battlefield information starts with commanders on the frontlines, who send it to the Federal Security Service (FSB), which gives it to the Security Council of Russia. The council’s secretary then delivers the information to Putin.
Russian state media previously reported in 2020 that although Putin did use the internet occasionally, the Russian leader did not use a smartphone.
“He doesn’t have a smartphone, it’s simply impossible,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said at the time.
Shortly after Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine in late February, the Kremlin began cracking down on access to foreign social media sites and platforms — prompting Russians to seek alternative means that would let them skirt restrictions.
According to Freedom House, a Washington-based non-profit organization, Russia saw the sharpest decline in internet freedom this year of any other country.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
Read the original article on Business Insider