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Stories about Eastern & Central Europe

21 March 2017

Don’t Make Russia’s Anti-Kremlin Opposition Angry. You Wouldn’t Like It When It’s Angry.

RuNet Echo

What started out as a playful response to an attack on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny quickly turned into an online protest.

16 March 2017

The Amazing, Endearing PSAs of the Belarusian Ministry of Emergencies

RuNet Echo

The Belarusian ministry in charge of managing disasters and national emergencies has produced a cartoon show. The series features animals in Looney-Toons-style misadventures, and teaches children how to stay safe.

St. Petersburg Investigators Agree to Review Ballot Stuffing Allegations

RuNet Echo

It doesn't happen often in Russia, but police have agreed to investigate a case of potential voter fraud from last September's elections in St. Petersburg.

14 March 2017

Remembering Soviet Pop: the USSR's Vocal-Instrumental Ensembles

RuNet Echo

While the West twisted, discoed, and boogied, the people of the Soviet Union were treated to a bland but charming, state-censored version of Western music: the so-called vocal-instrumental ensembles (VIAs).

13 March 2017

Macedonians Mourn Folk Singer Vanja Lazarova, Whose Plight Inspired Facebook Activism

Vanja Lazarova became part of digital activism history in Macedonia after her tough circumstances late in life inspired the innovative use of Facebook as a tool to petition the government.

10 March 2017

Russia Adds First-Ever Foreign Messaging App to Federal Registry

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

For the first time ever, Russia’s federal censor, Roskomnadzor, has added a foreign online messenger to its “Registry of Information-Dissemination Organizers,” targeting the Swiss company Threema.

8 March 2017

Nyango Star, the Apple-Shaped Mascot Who Drums for Japan's Tohoku Region

"Anytime Nyango Star makes a public appearance it is to help Tohoku recover. The mascot isn't drumming for its personal gain but for its beloved home."

We the Governors of the Russian Federation Would Like to Wish You a Happy International Women's Day

RuNet Echo

According to sources in the Kremlin, the order came from the very top: Russian governors were to celebrate International Women's Day "creatively."

Russian Socialists Celebrate International Women's Day With Guerilla Ads on the Subway

RuNet Echo

A group of socialist activists in St. Petersburg is using guerilla advertising to show the city a different way to acknowledge International Women's Day.

2 March 2017

Ukraine Will Blacklist Websites That ‘Undermine Ukrainian Sovereignty’

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

The list, like Ukraine's new Information Security Doctrine, is directed at countering the dissemination of pro-separatist and pro-Russian information.

1 March 2017

Russian Ex-Mayor Campaigns to Create ‘Putin–Superhero’ Art Show

RuNet Echo

An ex-mayor ousted by one of Vladimir Putin’s close allies is now looking to crowdfund the creation of a museum called “Putin-Superhero.”

27 February 2017

911 for Donbass: Meet the App That Will Keep Ukrainians Updated About Military Attacks

RuNet Echo

"Active Citizen" will inform users about military attacks in seconds and, the app's creators hope, help reduce casualties among civilians in the war-torn regions of eastern Ukraine.

26 February 2017

St. Petersburg Stands up for St. Isaac's Cathedral

RuNet Echo

Despite a variation of the blood libel against protest organizers and pressure from authorities to stand down, St. Petersburg activists continue to stand up for St. Isaac's Cathedral.

25 February 2017

Macedonia’s Ruling Party Is Draining Civil Society Groups’ Time—and Money

Global Voices Advocacy

Ruling partly leaders are calling for the "de-Sorosization" of Macedonian civil society, arguing that the country's civil sector should rely on the Macedonian government for financial support.

24 February 2017

Russian Government Youth Group Wants to Make Wikipedia More Patriotic

RuNet Echo

A clumsy new campaign called “Virtual Front” is coming to Russia next month, led by a government youth group that aims to make Wikipedia’s Russian edition more “truthful and patriotic.”

23 February 2017

‘Pro-Russia’ Label Hounds Bulgaria's New President

"The whole theory that Radev is pro-Russia comes from his appeal to the EU to withdraw the sanctions against Moscow."

21 February 2017

Russia's Censor Suddenly Wants to Know More About Channels on Telegram

RuNet Echo

With help from a Putin-launched political movement, Russia's federal censor met on Tuesday behind closed doors with the authors of several popular Telegram channels. And nobody knows why.

The Strange Death of Russia's Closest Alliance

RuNet Echo

Almost three years ago, President Alexander Lukashenko suddenly realized that his country's weak sense of national identity was a serious problem. It's been odd times for Belarus ever since.

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