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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 December, 2015

What to Expect From Russia's State Censor in 2016

The head of Russia's state censor discusses the normalcy of media restrictions, the efficacy of blocking online resources, tackling messenger apps, and much more to come in 2016.

Russian Blogger Gets Five-Year Prison Term for ‘Inciting Hate’ Online

Vadim Tyumentsev, a Russian blogger from Tomsk, has been charged with hate speech and calls to extremism online and has received a five-year sentence for videos on YouTube and VKontakte.

How the Soviet Union Sent Its First Man to the Internet in 1982

This is the story of a Soviet scientist who, in 1982, accidentally found himself among the first citizens of the USSR who were able to connect to the Internet.

2015 End-of-Year Quiz: Test Your Russian Internet News Knowledge

Think you're a Russian Internet guru? Take our 2015 news quiz to see how closely you've been following the RuNet Echo stories during the past year.

Russian Censors Launch Automatic Online Media Monitoring System to Spot ‘Extremist’ Content

Roscomnadzor initially had ambitious plans to monitor all of the Russian Internet for extremist materials, but didn't have enough funding, so decided to focus on online media outlets.

Russia's Citizen Journalists: Mercenary Mudslingers or Intrepid Investigators?

Since three bloggers were arrested in Samara, their story of muckraking and blackmail has come to threaten the future of investigative blogging, as well as Governor Nikolai Merkushkin's tenure.

The Bridge From Russia to Crimea Doesn't Exist Yet, But It Already Has an Instagram Account

Cats can help improve your bridge construction project's social media strategy, especially if you need to draw attention away from how slow and expensive your project is.

Meet the People Who Want to Repeal Russia's Draconian Laws

A group of Russian intellectuals has created a public council to determine which Russian laws limit human rights and freedoms, and to recommend that such laws be repealed.

Massive LiveJournal Troll Network Pushes Pro-Kremlin Narratives

An in-depth analysis of Twitter bots' metadata reveals connections to Russian "troll factories" and a vast network of pro-Kremlin LiveJournal blogs populating RuNet with propagandistic content.

Roscomnadzor Head Claims Google and Apple Are ‘Relocating Servers’ to Russia

Aleksandr Zharov, head of the Russian media watchdog, told journalists Google and Apple were "working on localizing their databases on Russian territory," but said the information was "unofficial."

Russian Activist Gets Two-Year Sentence for ‘Calls to Extremism’ on Social Networks

A Russian court has found activist Darya Polyudova guilty of "public calls to separatism and extremism" on social networks and has sentenced her to two years in a penal colony.

As Russia Insulates Itself from Human Rights Bodies, State Surveillance Decision Looms

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of a free expression advocate's case against Russian government surveillance. But thanks to a new law, Russia officially does not care.

Here's What Russian Internet Users Googled in 2015

In 2015, the RuNet cheered on Eurovision and hockey, but also mourned prominent Russians who passed away and followed the tragic events in Egypt and France.

Activists Take to the Top of Lviv City Hall to Highlight Human Rights in Ukraine

Ukrainian civic activists climbed to the very top of Lviv City Hall to read aloud the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and raise awareness of International Human Rights Day.

This City in Siberia Would Rather Elect a Cat Mayor

As Barnaul's political process slips further from the public, the frustrations of ordinary citizens are beginning to show. For instance, one Internet community is promoting a house cat’s mayoral candidacy.

This Cat Calendar Is Making the Russian Orthodox Church Go Viral

The “Priest + Cat” calendar is the Russian Orthodox answer to the Italian Calendario Romano, featuring young and handsome Catholic priests, and the I gatti di Roma cat calendar.

Russia Sentences First Activist to Three Years in Jail for Peaceful Protest

Ildar Dadin, jailed for three years for single-person pickets, pleaded not guilty and called the case against him a "shameful persecution based on an unconstitutional law."

Russian Film Festival Gets Official Warning After Promoting Anti-Corruption Documentary

The warning comes after Artdocfest announced that it is including in a special online competition a film about the corrupt business dealings of figures close to Attorney General Yuri Chaika.

New Draft Law Enables Russia to Ignore International Human Rights Decisions

A recently passed draft law could allow the Russian Constitutional Court to review any international human rights decision against Russia, allowing the Kremlin to shirk international human rights obligations.

Spot All the New Urban Murals in Kyiv With This Handy Interactive Map

Hunting down new street art and murals in Ukraine's capital has just gotten easier, with a new interactive map listing most of the locations of recent artworks.

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