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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 May, 2013

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After Probing Chemical Lake, Eco-Blogger Attacked in Russia

Environmental protection has become a dangerous area of public activism in Russia—at least where industrial pollution is concerned. This is because eco-activists often directly oppose regional business interests, who sometimes react with force. A case in point: unknown assailants attacked and severely beat an eco-blogger from Pervouralsk, in retaliation for the publicity he is creating over a local chrome manufacturer dumping waste into the Chusovaya River.

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Laughing at Russia's Eurovision Shooting Spirit

Earlier today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on his country's fifth place finish in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. At a press conference, Lavrov denounced supposed voting irregularities, claiming that Russia's points were "stolen," and called the anomaly "an outrageous act," promising Russian retaliation. Netizens were deeply amused.

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Russian Sociology Under Assault

Science isn’t safe in Russia today. That, anyway, was Lev Gudkov’s message in a public statement today, announcing that prosecutors in Moscow contacted him five days ago, to issue an official warning that the Levada Center is operating in violation of a recently minted federal law requiring politically-active NGOs receiving funds from abroad to register with the government as foreign agents.

Moscow Soccer Fans Clash with Police

Following Saturday's scoreless soccer game that catapulted Moscow's CSKA club to its fourth Russian Premier League title, the team's fans clashed with riot troops in downtown Moscow. Police detained 140 people [ru], later releasing all but two. Bloggers posted photos to LiveJournal here, here, and here [ru], alleging police brutality.

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Dirty Words Russian Girls Can’t Say on the Internet

Earlier this week, opposition figure Maria Baronova penned an open letter to writer and political dissident Eduard Limonov, wherein she dropped a sexual bombshell. Her text unabashedly refers to “masturbating in the shower” and credits Limonov with teaching her (through his books) how to “suck dick” “without false modesty” and “fuck like an animal.” The online response has been intense.

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Russia's State-Contracted Revolutionaries

When Vladislav Surkov left the government last week, it triggered an avalanche of speculation about what the loss of “the grey cardinal” means for Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in particular and his “liberal” political clan in general. At the center of an ongoing related police probe is Duma Deputy and anti-Putin protest movement leader Ilya Ponomarev, who earned a surprising $750,000 for his work for the Skolkovo innovation center.

Police Raid Navalny's HQ in Kirov

At this very moment, Kirov police are searching [ru] Alexey Navalny's local headquarters, established to coordinate the blogger's public outreach in the city where he currently stands trial for embezzling roughly half a million dollars. The case has attracted international attention as the latest in a long series of politicized Russian judicial...

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The Kremlin Defeated the Russian Opposition?

“Do you really have the feeling that the old system collapsed after the December 2011 protests? The system defeated the opposition. It’s a fact.” Vladislav Surkov delivered this line earlier today to a crowd of reporters and students in London. Russian netizens were not happy.

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