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Stories about Eastern & Central Europe

20 November 2019

Disinformation and hate speech hide behind freedom of speech, says Slovenian journalist

"If you say 'I would put migrants up against the wall and shoot them,' a court will not prosecute you."

18 November 2019

Teenage girls want to help victims of domestic violence in Albania with new app

The app connects survivors of domestic violence to important resources, including shelters, police, and support groups.

Some foreign correspondents were denied entry to Putin’s press conference in Budapest

Like Hungarian journalists critical of the government, foreign journalists working in the country are now facing an information blockade.

13 November 2019

No major problems with fake news in Croatia, says news anchor

"We in Croatia have no major problems with false news, at least not in the mainstream media, but there is a certain distortion of facts on the margins of the...

12 November 2019

Belarus 2020: A course to decolonisation?

The Bridge

Belarus is the most Russified post-Soviet country. In recent years, a series of creative civic initiatives to promote the Belarusian language have been launched to change that.

US withdrawal from Syria tests Russian soldiers’ social media use

RuNet Echo

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

RuNet Echo

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

RuNet Echo

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.

7 November 2019

Bulgarian prosecutor refuses far-right party's request to close down human rights NGO

On September 30, two VMRO-BND officials asked the prosecutor to dissolve the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee for “interfering with the judiciary” and engaging in "openly anti-Bulgarian activities."

6 November 2019

Environmentalists raise alarm over hydropower boom in the Balkans

More than 2,700 small hydroelectric plants are either planned or under construction in the region. Critics say governments aren't properly assessing their impacts.

Behold Russia's new ‘sovereign internet’

RuNet EchoAdvox

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.

26 October 2019

Yugoslavia wasn't a Soviet ally—so why does that misconception persist in Western media?

The Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia's independence from both the Eastern and the Western blocs was a key feature of its national identity.

25 October 2019

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

RuNet EchoAdvox

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

24 October 2019

Albanians angry at EU's failure to open accession talks–but for PM sun ‘still shining’

"This is the biggest mistake that the EU has made over these years, Albania is a reforming country who more than ever needed this decision to be positive."

21 October 2019

Twitter users from North Macedonia fight disappointment with EU non-decision with humor

The date for the long-anticipated start of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia's membership in the EU didn't materialize, due in large part to a lack of support by France.

18 October 2019

Bulgaria's far-right is attempting to shut down the country's oldest human rights NGO

A member of the European Union since 2007, Bulgaria took a turn to the far-right in 2017 when PM Borisov's center-right party GERB allied itself with a small coalition of nationalist...

14 October 2019

A Crimean Tatar journalist's defiant last words in court

RuNet Echo

"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...

Meet the civic activists documenting abuses in Crimea

RuNet Echo

Crimean Solidarity members livestream arrests, detentions, and court hearings on the occupied peninsula, and fundraise for detainees' legal fees. That's why Moscow has had enough of them.

10 October 2019

‘I and we': The rallying cry of Russian protests

RuNet EchoThe Bridge

As the product of no particular political grouping or ideology, Я/Мы has become a relatively neutral rallying cry around which citizens of all political persuasions can unite.

The Hungarian journalists who wouldn't keep quiet

Interview with Csaba Lukács, journalist and managing director of the independent weekly Magyar Hang, on the trials and tribulations of running a critical, conservative newspaper in Viktor Orbán's Hungary.