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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 April, 2013

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The Russian Opposition “Snake Pit”

  20 April 2013

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.

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The Boston Bombings Come Home to Russians

  19 April 2013

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.

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Russian Journalist and Election Observer Speaks about Her Arrest

  19 April 2013

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.

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Beer & Twitter Prove Toxic Mix for Russian Journalist

  16 April 2013

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.

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Russia's #1 Netizen Heads to Trial

  14 April 2013

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.

Hating on Russia's Protester Chess Master

  11 April 2013

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...

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Putin Unfazed by Topless Protest in Hannover

  11 April 2013

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...

Russian Censors Partially Acquiesce to Wikipedia

  10 April 2013

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...

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Russia's Regional NGOs “Audited” by Prosecutor

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...

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Russian Oligarch Berezovsky's Last Words: Yet Another Version

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,...

The RuNet's Leaky War

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...

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