“A real war is being waged against our motherland!” Vladimir Putin boomed at crowds in Moscow’s Red Square this week. Yet even as his armoured cars and military trucks rolled across the cobbles in the annual Victory Day Parade, Western cyber experts were delivering the Russian leader a gift to remember.

The Snake malicious software (malware) network, used by Russia’s FSB spy agency, was knocked offline by the West’s Five Eyes espionage alliance on Tuesday in a multinational swoop codenamed Operation Medusa.

Their takedown has disabled a vital Kremlin tool for interfering in Western elections, disrupting businesses and gathering intelligence on Moscow’s enemies – ending a two-decade-long cyber spying campaign that indiscriminately targeted businesses and Western governments alike.