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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

8 November 2019

Chechen leader suggests killing users who ‘insult honour’ online

For several years, human rights defenders have consistently cited Chechnya as one of Russia's most repressive regions, citing widespread torture, disappearances, and a complete intolerance of dissent.

6 November 2019

Behold Russia's new ‘sovereign internet’

Advox

The "sovereign internet" bill is about bringing the "critical infrastructure" of the RuNet under the state's oversight. That could mean a more effective implementation of Moscow's laws regulating expression online.

25 October 2019

Despite ban, Telegram survives in Russia — but for how long?

Advox

Most users still have access, but the authorities aren't giving up on attempts to block the instant messaging and voice app.

14 October 2019

A Crimean Tatar journalist's defiant last words in court

"I am a citizen of Ukraine, a Crimean Tatar, a Muslim. I am a journalist, a father, a husband, and a son. With the grace of God, these will not...

Meet the civic activists documenting abuses in Crimea

Crimean Solidarity members livestream arrests, detentions, and court hearings on the occupied peninsula, and fundraise for detainees' legal fees. That's why Moscow has had enough of them.

10 October 2019

‘I and we': The rallying cry of Russian protests

The Bridge

As the product of no particular political grouping or ideology, Я/Мы has become a relatively neutral rallying cry around which citizens of all political persuasions can unite.

16 September 2019

A professor's self-immolation puts the spotlight on the fragile future of Russia's minority languages

Many people discussing Razin's death seem bewildered that anyone would use minority languages in daily life, let alone die for them—an attitude by no means limited to Russia.

13 September 2019

Siberians appeal to world leaders via YouTube to save them from coal smoke

"This winter, the whole world saw our black snow. We were gasping for air because of coal dust. Why do we have to live in such intolerable conditions?"

12 September 2019

As Ukraine and Russia exchanged prisoners, the RuNet reacted

The return of Ukrainian political prisoners might be a win for president Zelensky. But the decision to hand a key witness to the MH17 tragedy to Russia attracted fierce criticism.

4 September 2019

Russian opposition divided over online ‘smart voting’ campaign

No Russian disillusioned with the country’s rulers has any qualms with voting against United Russia, but many are deeply uneasy about who this means they must vote for.

25 August 2019

Moscow’s revolution will be memed, online and on canvas

The Bridge

An anonymous RuNet user has a found a creative way to criticise recent police violence in Moscow: photoshopping riot police into dozens of famous Russian and foreign artworks.

24 August 2019

Videoblogging shaman walks to Moscow to ‘exorcise’ Putin

The 51-year old Yakut shaman calls his quest divinely ordained, insisting that Putin is a manifestation of dark forces which must be banished to save Russia from ruin.

9 August 2019

Who turned off Moscow’s internet during recent protests?

Advox

Evidence suggests that law enforcement agencies pressured mobile network operators to get part of the capital offline for the duration of the protests.

5 August 2019

How protesters are ‘deanonymising’ Russia's riot police

Activists are identifying the men behind the helmets, truncheons, and riot shields, and sharing their names, dates of birth, and links to their social media profiles.

2 August 2019

Russia's LGBTQ+ community reels after murder of activist Yelena Grigoryeva

Police say Yelena Grigoryeva died in the course of a “domestic dispute” with her killer, but activists dispute that account; her name had recently appeared on a homophobic hit-list.

31 July 2019

As Siberia burns, Russia chokes

While forest fires are no rarity in Siberia, climate scientists stated that this year’s fires spread particularly aggressively due to a combination of strong winds and the unusually hot summer.

18 July 2019

Outrage in Moscow after opposition candidates barred from local election

State-appointed “handwriting experts” stepped in and discovered palpably absurd reasons to invalidate hundreds of signatures collected in support of independent candidates.

16 July 2019

Kremlin's new law against ‘online disrespect’ proves hard to implement

Advox

The law allows courts to fine or jail people found guilty of making “insulting statements” towards the authorities online.

10 July 2019

Russia's north still up in arms over Moscow's trash exports

Resistance to a remote landfill has grown into a nationwide environmental protest movement.

5 July 2019

Russians quick to point fingers after deadly floods in Siberia

Thousands have lost their homes in the deluge, and some commentators aren’t taking ‘natural disaster’ as an answer.