Putin blacked out by ‘major hack’ on Russian-state TV during rambling speech

Vladimir Putin was blacked out on online television feeds across Russia as he made a rambling state of the nation speech today (Tuesday, February 21).

A major hack was reportedly responsible for the tyrant disappearing as he discussed everything from the Ukraine invasion and nuclear weapons to same-sex marriage and education reforms.

Russia's main state channels are part of All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), meaning that a major hack on the firm was able to take all the feeds down.

READ MORE: Putin slams 'gender-neutral god', gay marriage and says 'paedophilia is normal in West'

Instead of hearing their leader flip flop between waffling about "paedophiles" in the West and new water sanitation projects, Russians were presented with an on-screen notice announcing a "Mistake 500".

It added that "Technical works" were underway to solve the issue.

Rossiya-1, Rossiya 24 and Rossiya-Kultura were among the channels blacked out.

There was no immediate official confirmation that the issue was caused by hackers, but Radio Mayak – also blocked – said the web channels had been the victims of a cyber attack.

Jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny also claimed the state TV channels were hit, specifying that it was a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS).

These DDoS attacks involve flooding a target with online traffic in order to cause disruption.

Putin was addressing members of Russian parliament and military commanders in what is typically an annual speech.

His last state of the nation address actually came in 2021. The tyrant skipped it last year, citing the "dynamics of events".

The speech comes just three days before the anniversary of the launch of the Ukraine invasion, on February 24.

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