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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 August, 2014

12 August 2014

Russia's Trojan-Transformer Convoy to Ukraine

This mystery over the white trucks headed for the Ukrainian border has led many on the RuNet to imagine what is in the trucks—and what Ukraine suspects is inside.

One of Russia's Richest Men May Be Its Most Tortured Patriot

Since he landed on an American sanctions list, life has gotten tough for Gennady Timchenko, one of Putin's closest allies. But the oligarch, a Finnish citizen, considers Russia his home.

11 August 2014

America's Has-Been Stars Are Russia's A-List Pride

Some of Hollywood’s biggest has-beens have been making major headlines in Russia lately, thrilling a nation happy to receive approval from America’s formerly famous entertainers.

This Meat Advertisement Is Now Illegal in Russia

Russian police have banned a meat product commercial for breaking the country's advertising laws, which forbid the depiction of illegal acts, including traffic violations and the endangerment of children.

9 August 2014

TJournal's Vadim Elistratov Says It's a Political Time to Be Russian

Elistratov explains the creep of politics in Russian daily life, saying the recent barrage of oppressive laws is changing the tone of the country's social discourse.

8 August 2014

Will Russia Start Blocking Websites in Real Time?

Advox

Already plagued by Roskomnadzor blacklists, blogger registration, and the blocking of Twitter accounts, a Russian organization now wants to introduce real-time filtering of online content.

7 August 2014

Want to Use Public Wi-Fi in Russia? Let's See Some ID

Internet users in Russia won't be able to use Wi-Fi in public spots anonymously any longer. The Russian government now requires individuals accessing public Wi-Fi to present their IDs.

3 Years in Prison for Spray-Painting a Fence? Now's Your Chance to Say ‘No.’

This summer, activists launched a "Free Vitishko" signature drive through the global civic organization "Avaaz." The petition demands the environmentalist's immediate and unconditional release from Russian prison.

There's a Woman in Crimea Showing the Men How Blogging Is Done

Political discussions on the Russian-speaking Internet tend to be dominated by male voices. Politichanka, however is an exception to this general trend.

Are the West's Sanctions Against Russia Tough Enough?

The West has hit Russia with the toughest sanctions yet, signaling that it is finally getting serious about Russia’s continued support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Are they enough?

6 August 2014

Putin Is Banning a Bunch of Western Imports. Russians Fear for Their Booze.

Russians might soon be missing Scotch whisky and French cheese. A decree signed by Vladimir Putin bans the import of agricultural products from countries which had earlier sanctioned Russia.

Shut Your Mouth, Russian Bureaucrat

Russia's government won’t be keeping a promise about restoring certain pension deposits, and one high-ranking economic official is already out of a job thanks to a bizarre online apology.

5 August 2014

Forgot Your Password? Don't Worry, the Kremlin Has It.

The Russian government is inviting bloggers to share something every Internet user learns never to divulge: their logins and passwords.

The Kremlin Is Fighting the Internet by Buying It Up

Once Russia's most independent news portals, Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru will now host video content from state-run television.

Moscow's Birthday Card to Barack Obama. Is This Racist?

An anonymous group of young people climbed atop the U.S. embassy in Moscow and hung a banner mocking the American President on his 53rd birthday. Was the sign racist?

3 August 2014

With All Eyes on Ukraine, Russia Dumps Its “Toxic” Leftists in Prison

A judge has sentenced 2 leftist activists who were at the forefront of Russia's 2011-2012 protests to 4.5 years in prison for organizing mass riots in March 2012.

1 August 2014

Did Someone from the U.S. Congress Just Call Putin a “Dickwad” on Wikipedia?

Yesterday, someone using a congressional IP address replaced the musical notation of Russia's real national anthem with the lyrics and arrangement of a popular Ukrainian chant mocking Vladimir Putin.