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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

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.

‘How do you live here?’ A local podcaster takes on misconceptions about eastern Ukraine

In Slavyansk, one podcaster is attempting to refocus outsiders' perspectives of eastern Ukraine — for Nika Perepelitsa, it is not simply the site of tragedies, but also of diverse cultural...

A new magazine tells chilling stories from Russia's remote regions

Over the year since it was founded, the award-winning Holod Media has captivated Russian audiences with its longform stories on inequality and injustice in regions poorly covered by federal media.

In Belarus, tech workers fear for their industry’s future

Longtime Belarusian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka boasts that he has created a "paradise" for Belarusian IT. So why are young tech workers protesting against him — or even moving their businesses...

Who is selling Ukrainians’ personal data online and for what purposes?

A trove of Ukrainians'' personal data available online as a consequence of leaks or illegal sale creates ripe conditions for targeted dissemination of malicious content ahead of October 25 local...

#AnswerUsElonMusk: Russia's indigenous peoples campaign against Arctic pollution

An oil spill in May devastated large swathes of the tundra. Here's how indigenous rights activists joined forces to demand justice from the culprit — Russia's largest nickel producer.

‘The house search was the last straw': colleagues react to Russian journalist’s death

On October 2, Russian journalist Irina Slavina died in Nizhny Novgorod, the city to which she dedicated her life. Here, Slavina’s colleagues pay homage to a courageous journalist.

The path to the square: The role of digital technologies in Belarus’ protests

Today, state violence against protests is becoming less effective in suppressing them. As the situation in Belarus shows, violence provides a new motivation for people to take to the streets.

‘Concerned IT specialists’ launch database of detained Belarusian protesters

Since August 9, over 7,000 people have been detained in mass protests against the Belarusian government. A new database provides their names and locations — in a bid to get...

How one Telegram channel became central to Belarus’ protests

A channel on the Telegram messeng er service run by four Belarusian journalists in Poland has become a crucial source of information on the political upheavals in their homeland

Russian journalist avoids jail term for ‘justifying terrorism’ – and fears a new assault on press freedoms

While her conviction remains in force, Svetlana Prokopyeva has avoided a prison sentence. The verdict was a silver lining in a new wave of arrests and criminal cases against journalists.

Russia scales up electronic voting for key referendum, but misses security issues

As Russia goes to the polls this week in a constitutional referendum, several regions will be voting online. But the new digital voting system has some serious shortcomings.

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