Stories from RuNet Echo from April, 2012
Russian gun ownership laws are long and restrictive. In early April, when a small-scale farmer in Tula used a kitchen knife to kill three armed robbers that threatened him and his family, the incident sparked a new dialogue about gun rights and self-defense in Russia.
After 200 years, through the works of artists such as Leo Tolstoy (as well as legal disputes about the historic preservation of the battlefield), the Battle of Borodino continues to inspire passion and incite controversy. In this post, RuNet Echo returns to the historical and modern contexts of Russia's victory in the Napoleonic Wars.
On April 20, 'Kommersant' revealed an ongoing legislative project to create a state company to oversee the economic development of Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East. The schism at the heart of the RuNet's response to this issue reveals certain fundamental apprehensions that shape online Russian civil society.
The Faculty of Useless Knowledge tells a story of writer Yuri Dombrovsky‘s brief encounter with Vyacheslav Molotov, and shares a link to a documentary [ru] about Dombrovsky's life.
Mark Adomanis criticizes the critics of Julian Assange's debut on RT (Russia Today) last week.
Across Russia, celebrations have commenced honoring the 200th anniversary of Tsar Alexander I's defeat of France's Napoleon Bonaparte. Russian and English language bloggers have been tracking the celebrations and lingering cultural impact of the war.
Controversial activist Evgeny Roizman originally made a name for himself by establishing a non-profit fund called “A City without Drugs.” The fund both treats drug addiction and targets dealers, albeit using somewhat vigilante methods. Writing in his LiveJournal account, Roizman is now at the forefront of publicizing a police corruption scandal in Sverdlovsk Oblast.
In the last week, Vladislav Naganov and Aleksei Navalny, two of Russia's most prominent liberal democrat bloggers, entered the debate about a proposed NATO transit hub in Ulyanovsk. The transit hub (or "military base," as critics call it) is unlike most Russian political issues that involve the North Atlantic Alliance, as the Kremlin in this instance has agreed to cooperate with (rather than resist) the West.
In Astrakhan, opposition leaders have relied on social media to mobilize and coordinate protestors. Technology, however, is not a panacea for Astrakhan's struggling opposition. Many in the city are still strangers to Internet technology, and others are utilizing it to support the state.
The Faculty Of Useless Knowledge writes about Yuri Dombrovsky, “one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.”
At OpenDemocracy.net, a translation [en] of Svetlana Reiter's Esquire.ru interviews [ru] with two activists who have spent the past month hungerstriking in Astrakhan, protesting the results of the disputed mayoral election together with ex-candidate Oleg Shein. (An earlier GV text is here.)
Evgeni Malkin - a Russian-born ice hockey player who currently serves as the alternate captain for the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins - has led his team to the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
A wave of online indignation has since spread to the streets, leading to hunger strikes and anti-NATO marches in Ulyanovsk and Moscow, in response to a transport hub that will be based on an airfield in Ulyanovsk, a medium sized city on the Volga River, and the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin.
In the city of Omsk, a local activist group has arranged online primaries for opposition candidates, in order to nominate one for the city's June mayoral election. Popular Muscovite photoblogger Ilya Varlamov has emerged as the contest's front runner, but what impact could his candidacy have on regional politics?
Astrakhan mayoral candidate Oleg Shein's cause is becoming the biggest rallying point for an anti-Kremlin opposition that has spent the last month struggling to rediscover its direction. Today, a hunger strike by Shein and several of his supporters is entering its fourth week, with rumors flying that participants' lives are in danger.
Observers watched this week as a controversy that began in the Russian blogosphere concerning an altered photograph of the Patriarch's watch on the official site of the Russian Orthodox Church spread to Western blogs as well as to mainstream Western sources.
Earlier this week, on April 3, 2012, a Kemerovo court convicted blogger Dmitri Shipilov of violating Article 319 of the Criminal Code, “insulting a state official in public.” What did he say to so anger the local authorities, and what does it mean for the future of satirical blogging in Russia?
Natalia Antonova's texts in the Moscow News, on the “disappearance” and death of 9-month-old Anya Shkaptsova and on other recent deaths of children in Bryansk, Russia, and a text in the Guardian's Comment is Free on the rape and murder of Oksana Makar in Mykolayiv, Ukraine. And a note on...
Some photos [ru] of today's fire at a skyscraper under construction in Moscow: photos by RIA Novosti photographers at LJ user drugoi's blog; LJ user aleshru's ITAR-TASS photos; LJ user sergey_mikheyev's photos; two photos of firefighting helicopters refilling in the Moskva River – by LJ user nl. On Twitter, @ruradioscanner...
In late March 2012, less than three weeks after Putin's re-election to the Russian presidency, an online petition emerged, calling for stricter controls on foreign-funded Russian NGOs. Kevin Rothrock reports.
Michael McFaul, the US Ambassador to Russia, used his Twitter account to voice his concerns that diplomatic protocols had been violated when it appeared his schedule had been leaked to journalists at the NTV television network. Donna Welles reports.