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RuNet Echo is a project of Global Voices to expand and deepen understanding of the Russian language Internet (RuNet) and related online communities. Read more »

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Stories from RuNet Echo

27 May 2020

Kremlin expands online voting possibilities amid COVID-19 fears

COVID-19

After the Russian government passed a bill expanding possibilities for voting online and by post, journalists and digital rights activists have started to question its potential for abuse.

11 May 2020

Russians in lockdown celebrate a subdued Victory Day online

COVID-19

There were no parades this year. But the RuNet's resourcefulness prepared Russia well to commemorate Victory Day in lockdown — seamlessly converting the largest public holiday into a mass online event.

27 April 2020

Russians under lockdown (re)create famous artworks online

COVID-19

The Izoizolyatsiya photo challenge has become a national obsession. To the RuNet's delight, thousands of Russians are recreating famous artworks using ordinary household items — in hilarious and often bizarre...

24 April 2020

Prosecutions mount as Russia intensifies fight against COVID-19 ‘fake news’

AdvoxCOVID-19

Russia has made sharing "fake news" a criminal offence. Rights activists fear that charges will be brought against anybody questioning the state's account of the coronavirus pandemic.

20 April 2020

Russians launch mass virtual protests using satnav application

COVID-19

People across Russia are logging onto a popular satnav to launch virtual protests. Within hours, the Yandex.Navigator app was showing empty squares and streets of cities in lockdown as "congested"

7 April 2020

In Russia's far east, a feminist theatre director comes under attack

Yulia Tsvetkova was building a community in her hometown in Russia's far east — until she was targeted by violent homophobes and a hostile police.

3 April 2020

As Russia goes into lockdown, feminists fear an epidemic of domestic violence

Russia is seized by fear of the coronavirus epidemic. But for some Russian women under lockdown, the priority is to survive the epidemic of domestic violence.

26 March 2020

No coronavirus cases in Donetsk and Luhansk, say separatist authorities

COVID-19

As usual, much is unclear in eastern Ukraine. Can separatist officials' claims that there are no confirmed cases be believed? Have they really acquired coronavirus testing kits, and from whom?

19 March 2020

St Petersburg firm creates online bar for self-isolating Russians

COVID-19

As coronavirus cases in Russia rise, a startup in St Petersburg has launched a "virtual bar" where self-isolating Russians can build new friendships and feel a little less alone.

12 March 2020

Putin supports proposals paving the way for his continued rule

After months of speculation about Putin's successor, there is clarity: if passed, new constitutional amendments proposed this week will allow him to stay in office as president until 2036.

9 March 2020

Priest wins online anti-prize for Russia's ‘sexist of the year’

A Russian Orthodox priest who stated that women have "weaker minds" has been crowned Sexist of the Year for 2019 — an annual online anti-prize organised by feminist activists.

2 March 2020

Could Russia's ‘Sovereign Internet’ go international?

Advox

"Russia is not seeking to isolate itself from the world, rather to create a precedent which other states aspiring to sovereignty over their segments of the internet can follow," says...

20 February 2020

Pipeline problems for indigenous peoples on Russia's Yamal Peninsula

As gas pipelines creep across Russia's Yamal Peninsula, the lives of local reindeer herders are changing radically. Russia's energy companies say it's for the best — indigenous rights activists are...

19 February 2020

Holy controversy over proposal to mention God in Russia's constitution

The patriarch's proposal to mention God in the preamble of the new constitution has divided Russian commentators. Their debate is less about belief in the Almighty — and more about...

17 February 2020

Groundbreaking film on Russia's HIV epidemic goes viral

Nearly one percent of Russia's population is HIV positive, but the authorities have remained silent about the epidemic. It looks like Yury Dud's latest YouTube documentary has broken that silence.

16 February 2020

Russian pranksters target Bernie Sanders

Notorious Russian pranksters posing as Greta Thunberg and her father claim that they have called up Bernie Sanders to offer an endorsement. Then their conversation went downhill, fast.

15 February 2020

Russians rally against torture after verdict against ‘terrorist cell’

Following a verdict against seven antifascist and anarchist activists, Russia's opposition discovers that whatever their political differences, they could all face the threat of torture.

14 February 2020

New report makes grim predictions for ‘Fortress RuNet’

Advox

The most recent annual report by Russian NGOs Agora and Roskomsvoboda draws some troubling conclusions about what lies in store for the RuNet in years to come.

11 February 2020

Viral prank video mocks Putin's cult of personality

Russian blogger Bashir Dokhov hung a huge portrait of Putin in the elevator of a Moscow apartment block. He then installed a camera to record the reactions of stunned residents.

30 January 2020

‘Volodya, aren’t you tired?': Russia’s youth on Putin’s 20 years in power

An entire generation of Russians can't recall life before Putin. Twenty years after his rise to power, they're now wondering if they'll ever find out what comes after him.

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