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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

‘Where is the center of the story?': Revisiting the traditional view of Russia's Muslim communities

Global Voices spoke to academic Danielle Ross about her challenging view of the history of Islam and Islamic reform in Russia.

The mural will not be whitewashed: How dissident poet Joseph Brodsky continues to inspire free-thinking Russians

The 80th anniversary of the birth of Russian poet Joseph Brodsky was marked in Russia by an incident highlighting the special place writers still hold in Russian political culture.

A conversation with Udmurt language digital activist Artyom Malykh

"My primary motivation is to keep the language of my community alive. Udmurt must be used in as wide a variety of spaces as possible in order to ensure that...

Russian doctors’ union launches ‘map of problems’ faced by medics during COVID-19

Russia's medical staff are increasingly vocal about hospital conditions and a lack of personal protective equipment during the pandemic. This interactive map allows them to tell the world about it.

Kremlin expands online voting possibilities amid COVID-19 fears

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.

Journalists in Russia's regions catalogue the ‘unseen victims’ of COVID-19

The wider social and economic consequences of COVID-19 have destroyed livelihoods and sometimes ended lives. Coronavictims.ru exists to catalogue what its founders call the "unseen" victims of the pandemic.

‘We're staying home today’: The unexpected anthem of Russia's COVID-19 lockdown

"We're staying home today," a 2017 song by Moscow band Hadn Dadn, has captivated a country cautiously emerging from lockdown.

Russians in lockdown celebrate a subdued Victory Day online

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.

Russians under lockdown (re)create famous artworks online

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...

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

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.

Russians launch mass virtual protests using satnav application

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"

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.

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.

No coronavirus cases in Donetsk and Luhansk, say separatist authorities

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?

St Petersburg firm creates online bar for self-isolating Russians

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.

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.

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.

Could Russia's ‘Sovereign Internet’ go international?

"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...

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...

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...

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