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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 February, 2013

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Russia's Feds Now Using Bloggers to Investigate Bloggers

  28 February 2013

Last week, blogger and corruption fighter Alexey Navalny was on top of the world, after he published information that led to the eventual resignation of a Duma deputy. The Russian Internet, however, is a fickle mistress. Today, Navalny is himself the victim of bloggers, thanks to the Federal Investigative Committee.

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Russia's New Media: Too Clique to Fail?

  25 February 2013

The previous version of OpenSpace.ru was much less political in nature and was presumably shut down for financial reasons. It reopened a month later with a revamped website and a new team at the helm. It also didn't last as long as the old.

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God Exists and He Serves the Kremlin

  23 February 2013

Though the Pussy Riot trial is over, the culture war it launched in Russia drags on unabated. Pope Benedict's abdication sparked the latest conflagration, when political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky addressed the Catholic leader's decision, calling it a path the Orthodox Patriarch ought to follow. In response, Parliament members have asked federal investigators to consider a criminal case against Belkovsky.

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Russian Opposition, What Are You Doing? Stahp.

  19 February 2013

The Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition has been a fascinating eDemocracy experiment, conducted in the shadow of Russia's competitive authoritarian status quo. Yet, a recent decision not to nominate candidates for any elections—local or regional—has intensified doubts about the KSO, making it a target for one of the RuNet's more vicious attack memes.

Blood on the Russian Tracks

  14 February 2013

Earlier today, the Russian Railways concluded its official investigation into the death of Elena Soboleva, who died on January 18 crossing the tracks at the Saltykovskaia train platform [ru], located just east of Moscow. The Railways (or RZhD, as it's known in Russian) determined [ru] that Ms. Soboleva was responsible for her...

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RuNet Freedom: a Pirate's Revenge

  6 February 2013

Amid brazen attempts to censor the RuNet, one group is fighting back. On February 4, the Pirate Party of Russia has announced a new specialized internet hosting service, called the PirateHost, created in retaliation to attacks on Russian internet freedoms.

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Escaping Russia's “Vulgar, Primitive” Secularism

  5 February 2013

Vladimir Putin has given another speech in defense of Russian Orthodox values, this time calling on the Church to study the lessons of the twentieth century. "We must avoid a vulgar, primitive understanding of secularism," he told the Bishops' Council, a massive gathering of Orthodox clergy. Putin's comments are hard to divorce from several conservative legislative efforts in the last year.

Human Rights Group Maps Russian Internet Censorship

  4 February 2013

On February 1, the Russian human rights group Agora released a report [ru] on RuNet censorship in 2012, titled “Russia As a Global Threat to a Free Internet,” documenting various limitations on Internet usage in Russia, including violence, administrative pressure, and other forms of intimidation and punishment used against netizens by...

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Russia's Internet Censorship “Experiment”

  3 February 2013

A Russian federal region is about to embark on an "experimental" project aimed at censoring the internet. A joint effort by the Kostroma regional government and an NGO called the League of Safe Internet, it is similar in spirit to Russia's new internet blacklist.

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The End of Russia's Thaw Hurts Medvedev, Navalny, & Friends

  1 February 2013

Earlier this week, Russia's lone liberal governor, Medvedev appointee Nikita Belykh, had his offices searched by federal investigators. The move indicates a new low for fortunes of a "thaw" instigated by Russia's former president, and adds a fourth criminal probe to the legal troubles of anti-corruption netizen and political oppositionist Alexey Navalny.

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