Re: Kremlin, lying? Colour me astonished ...
Its about all control - if you control the ROOT zone you control all DNS, which means pretty much everything.
e.g. he could remove the NS records for the Verisign COM zone and install his own - running his own COM registry operator (PutinNet) - then people would have to buy all COM domain names twice - once from Verisign and once from PutinNet.
Given there are 145M names in COM & NET and they bring in ~$8 a year each - wouldn't you want a slice of the action, if you could?
I wrote a document about this in 2009 - https://names.of.london/press/root_hints_file.pdf