Russian officials have created a protected segment of the web, Reuters reports, in preparation for the possibility that Western nations will kick the country out of the global internet as punishment for interfering in foreign elections.
Reuters reports that German Klimenko, a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussed the preparations in a televised interview Monday. "Yes, you can just push a button and turn a country into an outcast," Klimenko told state-controlled NTV. "[But] technically we are ready for any action."
Preparations include creating a special segment of the internet that is protected by a firewall, accessible only by Russian-approved devices. Russians could also use state-sponsored social media networks, search engines, and advertising networks. "Even if they declare such a war on us, there is no evidence we wouldn't be able to live well and normally," Klimenko said.
The U.S. hit Russia with sanctions after intelligence agencies accused the nation of meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Russian officials deny any involvement but are nevertheless preparing for further punishments from the U.S. and its allies.