Stories from RuNet Echo from April, 2013
A blogger from the Republic of Bashkortostan (a small autonomous republic neighboring Tatarstan in southern Russia) was recently charged with hate speech for a post she published on her Facebook account late last year.
Something strange is happening with Vkontakte, Russia’s homegrown version of Facebook. In the last couple of months, the company’s founder and current head, Pavel Durov, has suffered three very public “kicks in the teeth,” one of which might even lead to criminal charges.
"Bush blew up the Twin Towers, Putin blew up [the towns of] Buinaksk and Volgodonsk. Obama blew up the marathon." The RuNet, just like the Internet at large, has always had a penchant for conspiracy theories.
A Chechen blogger analyses her fears of what the Boston Marathon bombings hold in store for the North Caucasus.
A new 'illegal dumps' interactive map has been launched in Russia for iOS and Android devices. The first of its kind in Russia, it allows users to mark unauthorized landfill sites.
The Russian opposition is at war with itself, and it’s thanks to more than the usual ideological tectonics. The various fault lines that infamously allow the Kremlin to “divide and conquer” Russia’s would-be saviors are indeed political, but the divisions are every bit as much about idiosyncrasies and shady dealings. Just look at May 6.
Initially a distant story of bombs and American blood, the Boston Marathon bombings came home to Russians today. The RuNet had been following the investigation into the attacks with great interest, even before the news that the two suspects turned out to be ethnic Chechens. Now that Russia is directly involved, passions burn white hot.
Earlier this week, RuNet Echo published an article about Svetlana Lokotkova, a Russian journalist and election observer who was arrested and removed from an overnight train for alleged intoxication. Lokotkova later contacted RuNet Echo, and agreed to outline what happened on the train and in the police station in her own words. She also spoke about social media as a tool for political activism.
As Alexey Navalny is gearing up for his embezzlement show-trial in Kirov, there is at least one silver lining: he made it on the short-list of the Russian award Politprosvet (literally "Political Enlightenment").
Trains are a cheap and reliable way to get around Russia, particularly compared to the country's famously poor roads. Russia is a big country and journeys between cities can take hours (or even days). Given these difficulties, it is not uncommon for some passengers to have a drink or two to pass the time. Sometimes people—even journalists—can overdo it.
Pussy Riot, eat your heart out. Later this week, Russia’s most polarizing blogger, Alexey Navalny, will stand trial for embezzling roughly half a million dollars from a state-owned timber company in the city of Kirov. In a country constantly plagued by politicized legal proceedings, prosecuting the nation’s most prominent netizen promises fireworks.
A Russian government online petition platform went live on April 2. RuNet Echo takes a look at how it works in practice.
Dissidents have fled Russia for as long as there has been a Russia from which to flee. Earlier this week, April 7, 2013, activist Ilya Yashin startled many when he announced [ru] on Twitter that protest figure and former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov had abandoned his leadership position in the...
On Monday, 8 April 2013, Putin's tour of a trade fair in Hannover with German Chancellor Angela Merkel took an unexpected turn when three members of the controversial Ukrainian feminist and self-described “sextremist” organization FEMEN [en] staged a half-naked protest [photo gallery] aimed at the Russian president. Their bodies painted with anti-Putin slogans in...
Starting in early March, Andrey Konoval, an Izhevsk-based journalist, activist, and former deputy, has written over 20 blog posts covering the ongoing battle of local pediatricians against Udmurtia's health ministry.
Russian Internet censors at Roskomnadzor have reversed a decision to ban Wikipedia's entry for “cannabis smoking,” following a reexamination of the article after a new round of edits by Wikipedian volunteers. In a statement [ru] on its website today, April 10, 2013, Roskomnadzor announced the unbanning, though at least nine [ru] other...
Smoking cannabis is dangerous business for people the world over. In Russia, just writing about it online can get you in trouble. State officials informed Wikimedia Russia that the government has placed its “Cannabis Smoking” article on its blacklist of illegal websites.
DemVybor activists in the regional city of Voronezh reported on the DemVybor blog [ru] that local NGOs are being audited by the city prosecutor's office. The four organizations being targeted are all members of the Human Rights House of Voronezh [ru]: they are the Youth Human Rights Movement, the Inter-regional Human Rights Group, the...
The city of Zhukovsky last weekend became the site of a bitterly contested mayoral election, which was marred by reports of electoral fraud and vote-buying. The opposition is also facing criticism that it failed to muster a good enough campaign to deserve victory in the first place.
Pavel Pryanikov, of the blog ttolk.ru (Blog Tolkovatelya, The Explainer's Blog) has published [ru] yet another “last interview” with the deceased Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky [GV]. According to Pryanikov, the conversation was meant for a book on Russian political refugees in England, and took place two days prior to March 23, 2013,...
As RuNet Echo previously reported [GV], Alexey Navalny has appealed to his readers to make up their own minds about his innocence or guilt in an upcoming embezzling trial by releasing for download the financial documents of the firms involved. Now, his opponents appear to have taken a page out of his book, creating...