Stories from RuNet Echo from November, 2011
Russia: Creators of Election Violation Map Come Under Attack
With a week to go until Russia's parliamentary elections, the Golos election monitoring association has been experiencing unprecedented pressure, including a break-in by a television team, accusatory articles in major newspapers, and a call for the organization's closure signed by three parliament deputies.
Russia: “Anti-Gay” Bill Postponed Till Nov. 30
Siberian Light reports that the second reading of the “anti-gay” bill in the St. Petersburg City Duma has been postponed till Nov. 30 – “to allow time for a face-saving review of the legislation’s wording.” The AllOut.org's petition calling “leaders around the world to reach out to their counterparts in...
Russia: Siberian Light's This Week in Russia Blogs #1
Andy of Siberian Light presents This Week in Russia Blogs #1, a revamped version of Russia Blog Roundup weekly series. Anglophone posts highlighted in the current edition include A Good Treaty's take on the efficiency of the RuNet activism and Putinania‘s analysis of the United Russia’s prospects for the Dec....
Russia: Digital Oppression Hits Web Forums as Election Approaches
As the Russian parliamentary election comes closer, dispersed attacks on regional discussion boards have turned into a massive wave of digital oppression. Alexey Sidorenko reports on several cases.
Russia: PM Putin Gets Booed – “End of an Era” or “Wishful Thinking”?
When Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stepped out to congratulate Mixed Martial Arts champion Fedor Emelianenko on November 20, he was visibly taken aback when he received a less than warm response from Moscow spectators. Donna Welles reports.
Georgia: Photoblogger Reports on Presidential Elections in South Ossetia
Russian photoblogger Mitya Aleshkovskiy publishes [ru] pictures taken during the South Ossetia presidential election that took place on 13 November 2011. He writes on his impressions after visiting the region and points out: “There will be a new president here, but the regime will stay the same.”
Russia: Kostroma Police Closes Discussion Board For Criticising Governor
The server of the Kostroma-based discussion board “Kostroma Jedis” (jedi.net.ru) had been confiscated by the police on November 16, 2011 (see police acts here [ru] and here [ru]). The website, which audience was about 12,000 visitors daily, was taken by the police ‘as an evidence’ in the investigation of libelling...
Russia: Hidden Camera Reveals Illegal Electioneering in School
A scandal caused by a hidden camera recording at a school in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, has highlighted a serious problem in Russian schools: teachers campaigning for the ruling United Russia party.
Russia: Official List of Extremist (Forbidden) Materials Grows Over 1000 Items
Sova center publishes [ru] another update of the list [ru] of extremist materials (run by the Ministry of Justice). After the update, which includes 1 YouTube video, kavkazcenter.com (radical separatist website), 2 videos dedicated to Tatar nationalism at tawba.info, and radical leftist limonka.nbp-info.ru, the list consists of more than 1,000 items (articles, videos, newspapers,...
Russia: FC Anzhi Makhachkala and the Yeltsin Era Money
The January 2011 acquisition of a Russian Premier League soccer team, FC Anzhi Makhachkala, by Suleyman Kerimov, a billionaire politician native to the volatile region of Dagestan, is the most recent display of how the wealth accumulated in the Yeltsin era is being used. Donna Welles reports.
Russia: Interview With LJ User Politrash-ru
A Good Treaty interviews [ru, en] “the author behind one of LiveJournal’s most popular anonymous blogs” – Politrash_ru.
Russia: Radical Feminist Band Dedicates Debut Clip to Arab Spring
“Egyptian air is good for lungs,” “Make Tahrir at the Red Square”, “Feminist whip is good for Russia” and other provoking slogans sing 3 women from the new radical feminist band “Pussy Riot.” The debut clip [ru] of the band, inspired by the Arab Spring events, features mask-wearing females with guitars...
Russia: Drug Control Service Goes After a Blogger Who Commented on Steve Jobs Taking Drugs
Russian Drug Control Service had approached Habrahabr.ru, a popular IT-portal, and demanded [ru] personal data of the Belarus-based staff-writer Alizar [ru]. He is accused of drug propaganda in his post [ru] which speculates on Steve Jobs’ innovativity, marijuana and LSD, and the governments’ policies towards light drugs, citing Time magazine, the New...
Russia: Police Re-Branding, So Far Online Only
Bloggers discuss newpolice.ru [ru], a self-proclaimed website of the Russian police's new look. Despite beautiful design, the authenticity of website hasn't been confirmed by any government agency, which leads a confusion wherever it's a real yet unannounced reform or just a design prank.
Russia/Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan Airlines Refuse to Check-In Russian Citizen with Armenian Surname
LJ-user dimulenka re-publishes [ru] the closed post [ru] of Sergey Gurdzian, “Avtovaz” export director, who writes about a case of ethnic discrimination by Azerbaijan Airlines. Airline representative at the Domodedovo airport refused to check-in Gurdzian on the flight to Baku referring to his Armenian surname and some ‘security instructions.’
Russia: Hidden Political Messages in Well-Done YouTube Videos
RuNet witnesses a new competition of high quality YouTube videos. The first video [ru] is called “Half-Dead Bloggers in DeadJournal” and mocks top-bloggers exposing them as neo-Nazis, drug addicts, unstable personalities, etc. The other video [ru] made by popular illustrator Zhgun, on the contrary, tells that unless you want to stay...
Russia: Reactions to Arms Smuggler Viktor Bout's Conviction
Many citizen media outlets from around the world have captured the controversy surrounding the November 2 conviction of the Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout by an American jury. Donna Welles reports.
Russia: November 4th – a Day of Marches
Ridus.ru, citizen media platform, provides an extensive coverage (photos, reports, streaming videos) of 4 marches: “Russian march” [ru] (anti-government, nationalist; ~6,000 participants), “Russian imperial march” [ru] (pro-government, nationalist; ~300 participants), Anti-fascist march [ru] (anti-nationalism, anti-capitalist; ~200 participants), “United Russia” march dedicated to the Day of Peoples Unity (pro-government, ~10,000 participants)....
Russia/Georgia: The Dilemma of Politics Blogging for Cash
One well-known Georgian political blogger writes of his dilemma in being approached for payment for a blog post. Blogging for cash is a recent shady public relations phenomenon in Russia and former Soviet Republic countries. Dmitry Davidov reports.
Russia: Gazeta.ru, Popular Semi-Independent Portal Launches English Version
Gazeta.ru, a popular news portal that often publishes quite critical news and op-eds, launches its English version.
Russia: Orphanage for Disabled Children Promo Clip Featuring U.N.K.L.E. Soundtrack
Dmitry Markov, photographer and a civil activist, presents “Volunteers,” a promo clip for the Orphanage for Disabled Children “Rostok.” Dmitry writes [ru] that he had first published a video using U.N.K.L.E.'s (British trip-hop music band) “Restless” track and only then asked for permission. He was both amazed and surprised to...