Interesting perspective. As Russian, I can relate to that - after all years of anti-capitalism, Putin brought back the fear of US and "West" and democracy in ordinary people with propaganda quite easily.
While pretty much everyone in russian internet community thinks that this will flop, the article is wrong on a few things.
It's impossible to take over Yandex. State-owned Sberbank hold "golden share" and can block any acquisitions.
It's actually not the Russian Government, but Rostelecom - state-owned telecom almost-monopoly.
Also, fun fact. The VP of Rostelecom, responsible for this project - Alexey Basov is a former founder of Begun, one of the first contextual advertising startups in the world, that Google tried to buy in 2008. The deal was blocked by Russian anti-monopoly commission.
First of all, new law also applies to links, including search engines and social networks. Also the wording is so vague, that its possible to apply it to individuals.
Fair Use provisions of Russian civil law are ignored.
It bends Russian Procedure Law - all cases will be reviewed by Court of Moscow.
And finally, today they introduced new law with fines up to $30000 for companies and individuals that refuse to police content. That's additional to blocking and whatever money court will award rightholder.
I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense." -- Henry Ford
One thing I would like to add: there are tons of free apps that I wouldn't even bother to download and test. I have about 15 games on my Nexus - some from play store, some from indie bundle, but I play maybe 5 of them. It's not just free alternatives - you have to compete for very scarce user attention.