Almost half of Russians — 47 percent — say that their lives would not change if the internet were shut down, according to a poll by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center.
The respondents were asked to reflect upon how it would impact their lives if the internet were to "disappear" tomorrow. Twenty-six percent said the internet’s disappearance would have only a very minor effect on them.
On the other hand, 22 percent of Russians admitted that their lives would change significantly if the internet were disconnected, and 5 percent said they could not imagine their everyday life without the possibility of going online.
Russian internet usage has grown dramatically in recent years. In 2011, only 51 percent of Russians were online. By the first quarter of 2017, that number had reached 75 percent.
Previously, President Vladimir Putin has said the internet cannot be a place of "quasi-freedom," where information is completely uncontrolled. Russian authorities have a responsibility, in his opinion, to limit the distribution of content about topics like suicide, terrorism, child pornography, and drugs, among others.