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Stories from RuNet Echo from February, 2015

28 February 2015

Russian Opposition Politician Boris Nemtsov Shot and Killed in Moscow

Boris Nemtsov, a prominent Russian opposition politician and one of Vladimir Putin's top critics, has been shot and killed in Moscow.

26 February 2015

Anonymous Twitter Account Blows the Whistle on Wounded from Ukraine in Russian Military Hospital

An anonymous account on Twitter claiming to be a Russian soldier at a military hospital in Russia is providing undercover reports on the wounded brought from the frontlines in Ukraine.

Police Raid the Lesbians Who Trolled Russia's Leading Anti-Gay Politician

Being gay is dangerous business in Russia, but it’s especially risky when you troll the country’s leading opponent of gay rights.

25 February 2015

Russian Lawmakers Propose Banning Women Under 40 from Smoking

“Female smoking,” the legislation’s explanatory note says, “harms the body’s reproductive system, causing irreparable damage to the genetic stock of the nation.”

Belarus Bans Tor and Other Anonymizers

Global Voices Advocacy

Belarus is banning anonymizers, typically used to circumvent government censorship and reach online resources banned inside the country, including many of the opposition websites.

‘Ministry of Truth’ Recruits Ukrainians for ‘Internet Army’

Ukrainian Ministry of Information Policy has launched a website to recruit Ukrainian social media users for a government-run "Internet Army."

Here Is What You Can Do in Kyiv if You Have One Dollar

What can a dollar buy you in Kyiv, Ukraine? Quite a few things, actually! An enterprising social media user collected the most interesting ideas in a blog post.

24 February 2015

The Dress Rehearsal for the Belarusian Crackdown

Global Voices Advocacy

"Belaruskaya Pravda" chief editor Yuri Dubina says the recent crackdown in Belarus on independent online media is only "the dress rehearsal" before the presidential election this November.

22 February 2015

High Hopes and Mixed Feelings About Russia's Oscar Nominee

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s film "Leviathan" has been a critical darling abroad and a key Oscars contender, but in Russia, it has generated a polarizing national discussion.

20 February 2015

Meet Russia's New Activists, the Anti-Maidan Movement

When Moscow witnessed mass protests in the winter of 2011-2012, organizations like Nashi and Young Guard exerted little or no influence on events. Will Anti-Maidan be different?

19 February 2015

Twitter Chatter About Putin and Poroshenko: The Language Breakdown

Tweets in Russian account for over half of the 6,342,294 tweets in our dataset. English, Spanish, Ukrainian, and French are the other common languages in tweets about Putin and Poroshenko.

18 February 2015

The Russian Military Commander Allegedly Leading Ukraine's Separatists

OSCE photos on Twitter indicate Lentsov was about 35 miles from Debaltseve on February 16, where he met with separatists in an official capacity as head of the Russian Representation.

Trolling Russia's Hearts and Minds

Last week, users of the image-board 2ch.hk launched a campaign to test Russians’ gullibility, when it comes to information about the Donbas separatists’ “fallen heroes.”

16 February 2015

Ukrainian MP Pushes for Carbon Copy Of Russian Blogger Law, Meets Resistance

A member of the Ukrainian parliament suggested bloggers in Ukraine should be required to verify information in their posts and disclose their personal data to the authorities.

13 February 2015

Russia Says You Can't Mention Ukrainian Nationalists, Unless You Say They're Bad

Global Voices Advocacy

One permitted way to mention such organizations it to do so "in a negative light, ascribing them characteristics like 'radical,' 'extremist,' or 'nationalist.'"

The Minsk Summit 2.0

Social media users in Russia and around the world closely followed the diplomatic summit in Minsk through the night on Wednesday.

12 February 2015

In Putin's Russia, a Retweet Can Lead to a Jail Term

Even a retweet of an image or a republished post may cost Russian citizens unfettered access to the Internet—and often, their freedom.

How the War in Ukraine Tears Apart Families and Friends Online

Bitterness is in the air, and bitterness affects personal relationships—so I wasn’t surprised when Eleonora told me how a formerly friendly Kiev colleague wished death upon her on Facebook.

10 February 2015

RuNet Watchdog ‘Baffled’ by Twitter's Refusal to Block Kremlin's Opponents

Alexandr Zharov, head of Roscomnadzor, told journalists that Twitter "has consistently refused to adhere to the demands of Russian legislation, including those aimed at combatting extremism."

9 February 2015

Ukraine Arrests Journalist on Treason Charges for Calls to Boycott Mobilization

Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba called for boycotting the latest wave of military mobilization in Ukraine—and now faces treason charges. Is he really a traitor? Internet opinion is divided.

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