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· May, 2009

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from May, 2009

Russia: Bloggers’ Memories of Soviet Maternity Hospitals

31 May 2009

Last year, Sinisa Boljanovic translated a number of heartrending childbirth stories, written anonymously by Serbian women and posted on the "Mother Courage" award-winning site, launched and maintained by Serbian blogger Branka Stamenkovic/Krugolina Borup. This month, LJ user germanych, a Russian blogger, asked his readers to share experiences of giving birth in the Soviet Union. While Branka Stamenkovic's "Mother Courage" initiative is an attempt to change the situation for the better, the Russian blogger's goal has been to document a lesser-known chapter of the Soviet history.

Russia: Blogging for Justice in Hit-and-Run Accident Case

29 May 2009

On May 13, 2009, a Subaru Forester car hit a pregnant woman who was crossing the street in Moscow. She died in hospital later. The perpetrator escaped the scene of the crime, but eye-witnesses remembered his license plate number. He turned out to be an off-duty police officer. On May 21, he was still not apprehended. On that day, the victim's husband, Alexey Shumm, started a blog to draw public attention to this tragic case and to document his attempts to seek justice. Below are some excerpts.

Serbia: Torture or Therapy?

29 May 2009

Last week, on May 21, a short film about torture in the Spiritual Rehabilitation Center "Crna Reka," located in south-western Serbia, was shown on the web site of Vreme, a Serbian weekly magazine. The patients of this center are drug addicts and its head is Branislav Peranovic, a Serbian Orthodox priest. Nearly all Serbian media have shown the horrible scenes from the short film, in which Peranovic is shown beating one of the patients brutally with a spade and with his fists. Sinisa Boljanovic reviews Serbian bloggers' responses.

Russia: A Blogger's Review of “The Associate”

28 May 2009

About a month ago, Jost A Mon blog posted a “roundup of translated crime fiction consumed in April” - which included several books by writers from Central and Eastern Europe. What follows below is a displeased Russian blogger's blitz review of John Grisham's 21st novel, The Associate.

Russia: Farewell to Actor Oleg Yankovsky

28 May 2009

Renowned Russian actor Oleg Yankovsky, 65, died in Moscow on May 20 and was buried at Novodevichiy Cemetery two days later. Thousands of fans came to the Lenkom Theater to bid farewell to him. LJ user drugoi re-posted AP photos from the memorial event, and LJ user leosat wrote about it.

Russia: North Ossetia's Superstitious Law Enforcement

25 May 2009

North Ossetian journalist Liza Valieva writes about an incident that could have prompted a lighthearted reaction had it not occurred in North Ossetia, an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, whose people have seen much violence since the collapse of the Soviet Union, including the Sept. 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis.

Russia: “A Popular Blogger”

24 May 2009

Popularity means different things to different people, in blogging as in real life. Below is a very short humorous take on some of the implications of being a “popular” blogger in the Cyrillic sector of the LiveJournal universe.

Ukraine: Russian Ads; PM's Hairdo; Crimea

23 May 2009

Russian ads in Ukraine; Yulia Tymoshenko's hairdo; labor minister's text message interaction with her daughter regarding a government job offer for her father; the Crimean Tatars’ situation and the mess in the Crimean capital's city council – at Ukrainiana.

Russia: Foreign Pirates on Torrents

23 May 2009

Profy reports that “more than a half (52%) of all the visitors to all the web resources in the Russian internet segment are foreign pirates who rush to the local web resources looking for free content that is easily available on the popular Russian torrents.”

Lithuania: Election Roundup

23 May 2009

With a Grain of Druska writes that in Lithuania, “it is time for a younger, more energetic leader.” Eternal Remont mentions president-elect's karate skills: “[…] who wants to see the judo master Putin go against the black belt Grybauskaite in an ultimate fighting match?” More updates – at Lituanica: Dalia...

Russia: Eurovision Roundup

23 May 2009

In Moscow, Eurovision coincided with this year's Night of Museums (IZO) – and with an attempt to hold a gay pride parade, which was interrupted by riot police (Robert Amsterdam's Blog). Some more thoughts on this year's contest – at Foreign Policy Association's Russia blog.

Russia: Medvedev's Visit to Kirov

22 May 2009

IZO links to LJ user rem-lj‘s photo report on the consequences of president Medvedev's visit to the town of Kirov: “His route crossed a railway track. So someone decided to cover the track with asphalt.”

Macedonia: Seasoned Journalist Talks About New Media

20 May 2009

NGO New Media Center provided a video recording of the presentation entitled “New Media Vs. Old Media” given by retired Time journalist Barry Hillenbrand on May 5, 2009, at American Corner in City Library “Braka Miladinovci” in Skopje [MKD], Macedonia. The video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Ukraine: 65th Anniversary of the Crimean Tatar Deportations

19 May 2009

May 18 marked the 65th anniversary of Sürgün, the 1944 deportations of Crimean Tatars from their homeland in Crimea. J. Otto Pohl writes about the history of the deportations, while Maria Sonevytsky describes the current plight and the attitudes of the Crimean Tatars who have returned to live in Ukraine, and shares her thoughts on the changes that need to take place for the situation to improve.

Israel: Eurovision Peace Duo Push for Another Way

18 May 2009

Can music help bring us closer together? Noa and Mira Awad hope their message from the Eurovision Song Contest reaches far and wide. Gilad Lotan updates us about the journey of those two musicians and reactions to their performances in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

About our Eastern & Central Europe coverage

Tanya Lokot is the Eastern Europe editor. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.

Filip Stojanovski is the Central Europe editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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