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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 from September, 2012

Russia: Nation's Top Blogger Headed to Prison?

  29 September 2012

The criminal investigation targeting Russia's most prominent oppositionist blogger, Alexey Navalny, is heating up. Viacheslav Opalev, the former director of a logging firm in Kirov, has confessed [ru] to participating in the embezzlement of 16 million rubles (over half a million U.S. dollars), and named Navalny as the scheme's mastermind.

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Russia: Ridiculing the Winter Olympics Slogan

  29 September 2012

The just-announced slogan of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics (“Hot. Cool. Yours.”) has spurred a brief episode of merrymaking on the RuNet. At first that may seem surprising, while the English version of the slogan may sound slightly confusing and a bit corny, it isn't particularly rich fodder for jokes or double entendres.

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Russia: The Kostin Report & the Trojan Horse of American ICT

  28 September 2012

Earlier this week, the media got a sneak peek at a new report on the foreign penetration of the RuNet and the potential manipulation of the country's future elections. The Internet's growing popularity is transforming it into a political weapon: a weapon that is increasingly guarded by American, albeit private, media firms.

Russia: Yekaterinburg Police Raid Regional Internet Publication

  27 September 2012

On September 27th Yekaterinburg-based internet news portal URA.ru was raided by city police, reports [ru] Evgeny Roizman, local anti-drug campaigner. Roizman is dating the editor-in-chief of the portal, Aksana Panova, who has apparently managed to leave the country before masked operatives arrived at her apartment and scared her mother and young son [ru]....

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Russia: Writers Put Down Pens to Stand Atop Soap Boxes

  25 September 2012

Now, nine people who self-identify as writers are running in the elections for the so-called "Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition," and a tenth strongly considered registering as a candidate before ultimately dropping out. Bearing in mind that writing is not the most popular of professions, this is a hefty proportion of the total.

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Russia: Activist Journalists or Bolshevik Bloggers?

  21 September 2012

Anyone following the Russian protest movement cannot help but notice the degree to which many Russian journalists are involved with the opposition. In the age of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, such interpersonal relationships are clearly visible to outside observers. But what does this overlap say about Russia's journalist culture?

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Russia: After the APEC Summit

  21 September 2012

The 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok has come and gone. What remains is discussion of what APEC means to Russia’s Far East and the country as a whole. Bloggers' biggest issue, however, was President Putin's promise to send some APEC volunteers on a cruise to Japan, who went, and who did not.

Russia: Omsk Telecom Temporarily Bans YouTube

  18 September 2012

For roughy seven hours earlier today, Rostelecom's customers in Omsk were unable to access YouTube. The short-lived ban prompted a flurry of panicked online activity, including urgent tweets [ru] from the city's most vocal netizen, Viktor Korb. The short-lived ban was apparently in response [ru] to YouTube hosting clips from the film “Innocence...

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Russia: Ksenia Sobchak's Civil Platform Candidacy

  18 September 2012

Earlier today, the Central Elections Committee officially registered a bevy of candidates for the coming elections of the first Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition. Among today's new entries to the General Civil category was socialite and opposition activist Ksenia Sobchak.

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Russia: Forecasts for the Protest Movement's Elections

  16 September 2012

On October 20, the new "Central Elections Committee" will hold elections to select 45 individuals to form the first "Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition." When this process is complete, the protest movement will have a representative body for the first time, providing a powerful institution that at last formalizes opposition leaders' legitimacy in Russian politics.

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Russia: Religiosity & the Murdered U.S. Ambassador

  15 September 2012

Responding to the attack on U.S. embassies across the Muslim world (specifically the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya), Russian bloggers have addressed the perceived growth of religiosity in their own country, and used the incident as an opportunity to discuss the wider consequences of political unrest.

Russia: New Competition in Social Media Analysis & Big Data Analytics

  11 September 2012

Former presidential staff member Konstantin Kostin [ru] and pro-Kremlin blogger Stanislav Apetian (online moniker: PoliTrash) have released new details about an upcoming initiative from their think tank [ru], the Civil Society Development Foundation. In an interview [ru] with Izvestia newspaper, Apetian says the group is deploying technology developed by the American firm Crimson...

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Russia: Dreaming About Better Roads

  8 September 2012

Prime Minister Medvedev ordered the government to auction a construction contract to build another section of a still-incomplete toll road between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. By signing the decree, Medvedev awakened a debate about the highway's negative environmental impact that only recently seemed to be subsiding.

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