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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

2 March 2020

Could Russia's ‘Sovereign Internet’ go international?

Advox

"Russia is not seeking to isolate itself from the world, rather to create a precedent which other states aspiring to sovereignty over their segments of the internet can follow," says...

20 February 2020

Pipeline problems for indigenous peoples on Russia's Yamal Peninsula

As gas pipelines creep across Russia's Yamal Peninsula, the lives of local reindeer herders are changing radically. Russia's energy companies say it's for the best — indigenous rights activists are...

19 February 2020

Holy controversy over proposal to mention God in Russia's constitution

The patriarch's proposal to mention God in the preamble of the new constitution has divided Russian commentators. Their debate is less about belief in the Almighty — and more about...

17 February 2020

Groundbreaking film on Russia's HIV epidemic goes viral

Nearly one percent of Russia's population is HIV positive, but the authorities have remained silent about the epidemic. It looks like Yury Dud's latest YouTube documentary has broken that silence.

16 February 2020

Russian pranksters target Bernie Sanders

Notorious Russian pranksters posing as Greta Thunberg and her father claim that they have called up Bernie Sanders to offer an endorsement. Then their conversation went downhill, fast.

15 February 2020

Russians rally against torture after verdict against ‘terrorist cell’

Following a verdict against seven antifascist and anarchist activists, Russia's opposition discovers that whatever their political differences, they could all face the threat of torture.

14 February 2020

New report makes grim predictions for ‘Fortress RuNet’

Advox

The most recent annual report by Russian NGOs Agora and Roskomsvoboda draws some troubling conclusions about what lies in store for the RuNet in years to come.

11 February 2020

Viral prank video mocks Putin's cult of personality

Russian blogger Bashir Dokhov hung a huge portrait of Putin in the elevator of a Moscow apartment block. He then installed a camera to record the reactions of stunned residents.

30 January 2020

‘Volodya, aren’t you tired?': Russia’s youth on Putin’s 20 years in power

An entire generation of Russians can't recall life before Putin. Twenty years after his rise to power, they're now wondering if they'll ever find out what comes after him.

21 January 2020

Is Russia getting its model for digital authoritarianism from China?

Advox

On the surface, China and Russia share much when it comes to digital governance. But their crackdowns on cyberspace also have important differences, says professor Maria Repnikova

26 December 2019

What lies ahead for the RuNet in 2020?

Advox

Interview with Alexander Isavnin, a researcher at the Internet Protection Society, on the Russian government's next steps to regulate and control cyberspace.

23 December 2019

Latest offering from Russian cult novelist Pelevin divides and confuses critics

Viktor Pelevin's latest novel, a tale of 'weapons-grade memes', is creative but widely seen as overambitious.

22 December 2019

New documentary charts the RuNet's unlikely rise — and its fall

Twenty-five years on, Andrey Loshak's documentary series examines the ups and downs of Russia's internet, from its apparently idyllic beginnings to its uncertain future.

21 November 2019

In Russia, individuals can now be branded ‘foreign agents’

The latest amendments expand the definition of "foreign agent" to individuals, at the discretion of the Ministry of Justice, which already maintains online lists of "foreign agent" media outlets and...

12 November 2019

US withdrawal from Syria tests Russian soldiers’ social media use

New footage from Syria shows that despite new information security measures, the Russian military is willing to weaponise its soldiers' social media posts when it is timely to do so.

11 November 2019

Putin announces plan to ‘replace’ Wikipedia

The publishing house behind the Great Russian Encyclopedia has allocated two billion rubles (over $30 million) aimed at developing a “domestic equivalent” to Wikipedia by the end of 2022.

8 November 2019

Chechen leader suggests killing users who ‘insult honour’ online

For several years, human rights defenders have consistently cited Chechnya as one of Russia's most repressive regions, citing widespread torture, disappearances, and a complete intolerance of dissent.

6 November 2019

Behold Russia's new ‘sovereign internet’

Advox

The "sovereign internet" bill is about bringing the "critical infrastructure" of the RuNet under the state's oversight. That could mean a more effective implementation of Moscow's laws regulating expression online.

25 October 2019

Despite ban, Telegram survives in Russia — but for how long?

Advox

Most users still have access, but the authorities aren't giving up on attempts to block the instant messaging and voice app.

14 October 2019

A Crimean Tatar journalist's defiant last words in court

"I am a citizen of Ukraine, a Crimean Tatar, a Muslim. I am a journalist, a father, a husband, and a son. With the grace of God, these will not...

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