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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

16 May 2017

Ukraine Sanctions VKontakte, Other Russian Social Media Websites

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed an order instructing the country's Internet providers to block several major Russian social media websites.

12 May 2017

Diversity, Interrupted: Anti-Gay Crusades Mar Ukraine’s Tolerant Facade

As this year’s Eurovision Song Contest enters its final weekend, a half-painted rainbow arch meant to symbolize the event’s slogan, “Celebrate Diversity,” hovers ominously over the center of Kyiv.

11 May 2017

The Russian Journalist Responsible for the Trump-Lavrov Photo Speaks Out

TASS photojournalist Alexandr Scherbak, the man who took Wednesday's controversial pictures in the Oval Office, accuses the U.S. government and media of “hysteria.”

9 May 2017

Russian Pensioners Troll Opposition Leader in Awkward Rap Video

The video was produced by a fringe activist organization in Krasnodar called "Social Justice."

Let Us Spray: Orthodox Graffiti Comes to Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church and street art don’t tend to mix, but a recent collaboration between a provincial street artist and a priest has proven an exception to that rule.

8 May 2017

Oleg Kashin Explains How Russia Reinvented the Political Rumor Mill

RuNet Echo translates an article by Oleg Kashin about the messaging app Telegram, focusing on the rise of “channels” dedicated specifically to spreading anonymous political rumors.

Who's Paying for the Meme War Against Alexey Navalny?

Global Voices Advocacy

The scheme comes in the wake of news about a major mudslingling campaign that the Kremlin was reportedly planning against Navalny.

7 May 2017

WeChat? Not in Russia You Don't.

Last week, Russia’s federal censor blocked WeChat, China’s largest mobile messaging app. According to Russia’s media censor, Roskomnadzor, WeChat failed to register with the federal government.

5 May 2017

Nyetflix and Dill: Putin Signs Law Regulating Foreign Online Streaming Services

Global Voices Advocacy

Netflix and chill is looking more like Nyetflix and dill in Russia after Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that restricts foreign streaming services' access to the Russian market.

4 May 2017

Don’t Be Alarmed: This ‘Red Button’ Is Meant to Help Russians

By connecting detainees with friends and human rights organizations more quickly than ever, the “Red Button” app hopes to provide protesters with greater protection from illegal arrests and penalties.

3 May 2017

Russian Psychological Center Insults and Then Outs Gay Man Who Called Its Support Line

Be careful when calling the hotline at “FROG,” a psychological help center; you might need more support after the call than you did before you picked up the phone.

1 May 2017

Navalny's Army Unmasks the State-Supported Radicals Out to Get Him

Following last week's startling attack, opposition leader Alexey Navalny is proving how useful it is to have millions of supporters among Russia’s young, energetic Internet users.

Life as a Vod, Russia’s Disappearing Ethnic Group

Rising Voices

Made up of just a few dozen people, the world’s largest community of Vods lives outside St. Petersburg. Victoria Vziatysheva recently spoke to some of the Vods’ last living descendants.

The Kremlin Is Worried Attacks on Opposition Leaders Are Making Them More Popular

Days after Alexei Navalny was again doused with green antiseptic, the news website Gazeta.ru reported that the Kremlin had instructed regional authorities to crack down such attacks in the future.

27 April 2017

Three Ways the Russian Government Is Trying to Control the Internet

Global Voices Advocacy

“The Internet was created as a special project by the CIA,” Vladimir Putin announced three years ago. Since then, Russian authorities’ faith in the Internet has declined even further.

26 April 2017

Russian Protest Movement Says It Will Press On, Despite Federal Ban

Despite being outlawed today by the Attorney General, opposition movement “Open Russia” says it’s continuing all operations, including plans for nationwide anti-Putin protests this Saturday.

25 April 2017

Russian Authorities Want Easy Access to Online Dating Logs

Global Voices Advocacy

Do you hope to find love in Russia? If so, and you’re planning to use the Internet to meet people, the pursuit could be less private than you maybe hoped.

How Alexey Navalny Abandoned Russian Nationalism

Alexey Navalny had to reinvent himself to take charge of the Russian opposition, but he may have given up his populist edge over Vladimir Putin, along the way.

21 April 2017

This Is What ‘Racist Glasses’ Look Like in Russia

Russian animator Alexey Yurevich has produced his own version of Rudy Mancuso’s 2016 viral hit, “Racist Glasses,” using the same premise with a uniquely Russian spin.

The Day Russia Outlawed Jehovah's Witnesses

It’s strange to see this in writing, let alone know that it’s true, but here it is: Russia has formally banned Jehovah's Witnesses.

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