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Stories about Eastern & Central Europe

11 February 2016

The Next Time You're in Moscow, Don't Bother Trying the Shawarma

RuNet Echo

Moscow awoke earlier this week to find that the city has a new face. Before dawn on February 9, the mayor's office tore down roughly a hundred small businesses.

Kremlin Censor Finally Brings Down the Hammer on the RuNet’s Pluckiest Freedom Advocates

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

Government censors have blocked the website of Russian digital rights organization RosKomSvoboda for a page with instructions on how to circumvent online censorship and access blocked websites.

Netizen Report: The EU Wrestles With Facebook Over Privacy

Global Voices Advocacy

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

5 February 2016

Ukrainian Censor's ‘Explicit Content’ Database Is Up for Grabs

RuNet Echo

Ukraine's now extinct National Expert Commission for Protection of Public Morality accumulated a database of "explicit" content during its tenure—and no one knows what to do with it.

4 February 2016

Why Is a Russian Art Museum Granting Free Admission to Women Wearing 4-Inch Stilettos?

RuNet Echo

The music video has 32 million views in just three weeks. Even for one of Russia’s most popular rock bands, Leningrad’s new song stands out as an exceptionally popular hit.

3 February 2016

ISPs Take Kremlin to Court Over Online Surveillance

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

“We’ve found a couple of brave providers that are ready to come with us on a crusade against SORM,” announced Leonid Volkov, co-founder of the Society for Defending the Internet.

1 February 2016

Russian Social Network VK Claims to Protect Users From Warrantless Surveillance

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

VKontakte's Ukrainian spokesperson says the social network abhors censorship and only shares user data with secret services when presented with court orders. The website's turbulent history paints a different picture.

Russia and Chile Join the Global Campaign to Save a Saudi Poet From Execution

RuNet Echo

Poets and activists in Moscow and St Petersburg expressed their solidarity with Ashraf Fayadh, who's been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. Similar events were held in Chile and Mexico.

30 January 2016

New Ukrainian Draft Bill Seeks Extrajudicial Blocking for Websites Violating Copyright

RuNet Echo

A new bill in the Ukrainian parliament wants to replace the common pre-court notice and takedown procedure for copyright violations online with a faster blocking mechanism bypassing the courts.

29 January 2016

Russian Internet Users Turn to TV for News, But Trust Online Sources More, Study Finds

RuNet Echo

37 percent of Russian Internet users believe Russian television and online media report on news in the same way, while an equal 37 percent argue the coverage differs significantly.

Grandma March Day, the Balkan Tradition of Exchanging Handmade Amulets

Balkan countries have joined forces to preserve the custom and push for its inclusion on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage.

Facebook Finally Suspends ‘Pegida Macedonia’ Anti-Muslim Page

Global Voices Advocacy

Despite numerous user report of Islamophobic hate speech, Facebook stated several times that the page did not violate its Community Standards.

26 January 2016

Deus Ex Putina

RuNet Echo

According to a Russian news site and a whole lot of bloggers, Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife, Lyudmila, has remarried. The RuNet also thinks it's found her Facebook account.

25 January 2016

Old Postcards Reveal Forgotten World War I Memories in Macedonia

Made between 1914 and 1918, these photos not only document military aspects of World War I, but also provide views of places and people caught within its maelstrom.

‘Homophobes Are People Too’ Campaign Challenges Macedonia's Hostility Toward LGBT People

The human rights reality for LGBT people in Macedonia is poor, with systemic impunity for hate crimes against sexual and gender minorities in the country.

24 January 2016

Salt and Loathing in St. Petersburg

RuNet Echo

What has in the past helped defeat French legions and German divisions is also an ordinary concern for Russians. Usually, there's little cause for celebration, when considering the Russian winter.

Three Foreign Lawyers Have Returned Home Safely, But What’s Life Like for Local Attorneys in Tajikistan?

What's the difference between a Tajik and a non-Tajik lawyer? In Tajikistan, detained foreign attorneys have a better chance of remaining unharmed and securing a quick release.

23 January 2016

Once a Refugee in Syria, This Palestinian Woman Is a Refugee Once Again

Nadera Aboud is a refugee in Europe. But this isn't the first time she's had to flee her home. The first time was almost 70 years ago.

The Only Hero in Russia Who Isn't Named Putin

RuNet Echo

While Ramzan Kadyrov isn’t Russia’s president, he is far more than a mere regional figure, and the past few weeks have offered only the latest evidence of his “talents.”

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