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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

Investigative journalism group OCCRP says it will no longer work in Russia

Drew Sullivan, OCCRP's co-founder and editor-in-chief, said their work in Russia at the moment would do local reporters "more harm than good."

Russia blocks popular website for worker complaints

Antijob, an online database of anonymous complaints about Russian employers, has been blocked by censors following a defamation case brought by a Moscow real estate firm.

Russian court issues bigger fines to social media companies for breaching data localization rules

The data localization law, adopted in 2015, requires all internet companies processing Russian users' data to store such data on servers physically located inside Russia.

More independent media added to Russia's “foreign agent” roster

"As for the list of foreign agents, by now it has so many decent people and publications on it that not to be on this list is simply indecent."

Russian authorities declare independent election monitor Golos a “foreign agent”

Golos has vowed to continue training Russian citizens as observers and commissioners at polling stations, and said it believes independent citizen observation is key to ensuring a transparent election.

Russian internet censor blocks Team Navalny websites

Navalny's main website, navalny.com, as well as over 40 other webpages for Navalny's national network of campaign offices were added to Roskomnadzor's state registry for blocked websites.

Team 29, Russia's most prominent legal defense group, shuts down under state pressure

On July 19, after its website was blocked, Team 29 announced it was shutting down its operations in order to protect its staff and clients from possible criminal prosecution.

Organiser of online map protest in Russia fined for crowdsourced obscenities

Unlike street protests, which require prior authorisation from local authorities, online rallies aren't technically subject to the same restrictions.

Russian feminist activist Yulia Tsvetkova announces hunger strike

Demanding a swift trial, Tsvetkova wrote: "Let’s stop waiting for people being persecuted to be heroes. We don’t need heroes. We need to prevent the persecution of the innocent."

Feminist activist in Russia faces prison term for ‘body-positive’ drawings

Human rights groups have labeled Yulia Tsvetkova a prisoner of conscience and have called on Russia to remove all charges and to "stop targeting feminist, LGBTI and other activists."

Russian authorities crack down on student journalism outlet over protest explainer video

Supporters of DOXA journal have called the charges against its editors "preposterous" and demanded that "all harassment of students immediately cease."

Israeli phone hacking firm stops sales to Belarus and Russia

Cellebrite, an Israeli software company known for making tools used to extract data from smartphones, has announced it will halt sales to Russian and Belarus state bodies and law enforcement.

Can the Eurovision Song Contest change Russia's views on migrants from Central Asia?

Russia has nominated Tajik-Russian singer Manizha as its representative for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. But many Russians reject her as the chosen face of their country at the international...

The watchtower on the mountain of Dagestan's indigenous languages

Kaitag, a language variant of the Dargwa family, is spoken in Dagestan's mountainous villages, but has a limited digital presence. Digital activists like Magomed Magomedov are working to change this.

Twitter could be fully blocked in Russia within the next month

Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor says it is prepared to block Twitter completely if the platform continues to ignore its requests to take down content flagged as illegal.

Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor throttles Twitter loading speeds

Twitter has a small audience in Russia, but more popular platforms such as Facebook and YouTube could also see slower loading speeds if they fail to address state takedown requests.

‘Pandemic Big Brother': Highlighting impact of COVID-19 restrictions on digital freedoms in Eastern Europe

Digital rights activists fear that digital surveillance has become so normalized during the pandemic that it may be hard to roll these measures back once it's over.

In unrecognized Transnistria, a retiree faces criminal charges for ‘anti-Russian’ rhetoric

A 70-year-old Transnistria citizen faces a five-year prison term for critical statements about Russian peacekeeping forces in the breakaway Moldova region.

New Russian law demands self-censorship from social media platforms

Experts believe that the most likely reason for the new self-censorship legislation is the state's desire to curtail the growing discontent and protest activity in the country.

Russian protesters rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny

Unusually large numbers of Russian citizens are protesting against the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexey Navalny - on the street and on TikTok.

About our RuNet Echo coverage

Maxim Edwards is the RuNet Echo editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.

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