Stories from RuNet Echo from September, 2012
Russia: Nation's Top Blogger Headed to Prison?
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.
Russia: Ridiculing the Winter Olympics Slogan
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.
Russia: The Kostin Report & the Trojan Horse of American ICT
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
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]....
Russia: Ominous Predictions of Conflict in Dagestan
Dagestan is among Russia’s most impoverished and ethnically diverse republics. Recent tension between Sunni Sufi and Salafi communities suggest more conflict may not be far to come.
Russia: Writers Put Down Pens to Stand Atop Soap Boxes
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.
Russia: Human Rights Figures Petition Online to Free May 6 Prisoners
As the din of the Pussy Riot trial fades, some human rights activists in Russia are seeking to shift the public's focus to protesters arrested in connection with violence against police at a mass demonstration in early May. Twenty-three of Russia's most noteworthy intellectuals and activists have signed an online...
Russia: Activist Journalists or Bolshevik Bloggers?
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?
Russia: After the APEC Summit
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: Continued Scandals Plague the Registration of Opposition Candidates
Earlier today, blogger Maksim Kononenko highlighted [ru] the Coordinating Council candidacy of convicted terrorist and neonazi Nikolai Korolev, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 15 people in 2006.
Russia: Omsk Telecom Temporarily Bans YouTube
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...
Russia: SocialCamp, Crowdsourcing and Open Data
A SocialCamp Russia 'unconference' took place in Moscow from 7th to 9th of September. Over the course of three days social activists spoke about projects aimed at raising awareness, improving mutual understanding, promoting philanthropy, and much more.
Russia: Ksenia Sobchak's Civil Platform Candidacy
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.
Russia: Reading Genius into Putin's Blunders
One of the more striking things about Vladimir Putin, aside from his affinity for displays of machismo, is the degree of nuanced multidimensional-chess-like strategic planning attributed to him and his team by both opponents and supporters.
Russia: Forecasts for the Protest Movement's Elections
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.
Russia: Protest Movement Struggles with Keeping Itself Democratic
Maksim Martsinkevich, who goes by the nickname Tesak (Machete), gained notoriety on the RuNet between 2005 and 2007. A white-supremacist who later spent several years in prison for inciting ethnic and religious hatred, Tesak has returned to public life and is now trying to gain access to the protest movement's internal elections.
Russia: Religiosity & the Murdered U.S. Ambassador
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
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...
Russia: Online Poetry's Vehement, Apolitical Politics
It's no surprise that a result of Russians' widespread interest in poetry is that there are plenty of online communities dedicated to its production and consumption. Stihi.ru, with a user base of almost half a million people, is the largest by far.
Russia: Top Opposition Blogger Investigated for Ethnic Extremism
According to documents published online, police in Volgograd are investigating one of blogger Aleksei Navalny's newest crowdsourcing projects, the "Good Machine of Truth," for possible ethnic extremism in its propaganda efforts against United Russia and Vladimir Putin.
Russia: Dreaming About Better Roads
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.