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· April, 2010

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from April, 2010

Russia: The 2009 Killing of Umar Israilov

  29 April 2010

Robert Amsterdam writes about Ramzan Kadyrov's alleged involvement in the 2009 murder of Umar Israilov in Vienna, and links to C.J. Chivers’ New York Times investigative piece, whose opening paragraph has reminded him of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a collection of Vietnam War short stories.

Russia: “Burnt By the Box Office”

RuNet Echo  29 April 2010

Vadim Nikitin of Foreign Policy Association's Russia blog reviews the reactions to Nikita Mikhalkov's Burnt by the Sun 2, “Russia’s most expensive movie.”

Russia: More Commentary on Sex Video Scandal

RuNet Echo  29 April 2010

A Good Treaty comments – here and here – on the sex video scandals involving members of the Russian opposition, notes an increase in blog traffic (“nothing brings visitors to a website like the promise of nudity”), and responds to Julia Ioffe‘s Foreign Policy piece on the scandal.

Ukraine: Chaotic Ratification of the Gas-for-Fleet Deal

  29 April 2010

Below is some of the Anglophone blog commentary on the ratification of the Ukrainian-Russian gas-for-fleet deal, which took place in a chaotic environment on April 27 in Kyiv. Among other things, security guards were forced to employ two umbrellas to shelter the parliament speaker from the eggs hurled at him by opposition members.

Russia: Russian Authorities Want to Block 2,000 Web sites

RuNet Echo  28 April 2010

Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs plans to make addition to the law “On Information” allowing Russian authorities to block an access to around 2,000 Web sites with extremist, pirated and pornographic content, Russian information agency “New region” reported.

Ukraine: Russian Black Sea Fleet Stays On in Crimea

  27 April 2010

236 Ukrainian MPs (UKR) have voted in favor of the ratification of an agreement allowing the Russian Black Sea Fleet to extend its stay in Crimea until 2042. Ukrainska Pravda posts a selection of photos and video (UKR) of fighting and egg-throwing inside the parliament building this morning. On Twitter,...

Ukraine: Chernobyl's 24th Anniversary

  27 April 2010

April 26 marked the 24th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Ukrainiana writes about a 1990 movie, “an irony-packed perestroika-era drama offers an X-ray of Soviet crisis mismanagement.” Chernobyl and Eastern Europe reviews three documentaries on the catastrophe. Michael Forster Rothbart‘s Chernobyl photography project is featured in zReportage online magazine...

Russia, Poland: The Truth About Katyn

RuNet Echo  23 April 2010

Steve Bandera of Kyiv Scoop writes about Andrzej Wajda’s 2007 film Katyń, which has been shown twice in Russia in the past few weeks (reactions from the Russian blogosphere are here) – and comments that the truth about the massacre is “only coming out now in the former Soviet Union...

Russia: “The Sirens of Russia”

RuNet Echo  23 April 2010

A Good Treaty posts a YouTube video of a Moscow driver's encounter with a high-ranking official's BMW and explains why “the special road status of the elite is a sore point with the Russian public.” (A few more related links in Russian are here.)

US, Russia: Views on START

  23 April 2010

A Good Treaty reviews shortcomings and advantages of the newly-signed US-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), as perceived by various political groups in the United States and Russia.

Russia: Medvedev Twitter Accounts

RuNet Echo  22 April 2010

Profy writes about the soon-to-be-launched official Twitter account of the Russian president – and the recently suspended fake one: “The thing is that this Twitter account misbehaved on the day of last week’s terrorist bombings in Moscow: a comment was published that looked very much like the first official comment...

Russia: RT and Public Diplomacy

  22 April 2010

Lena Osipova of Global Chaos argues that RT, Russia's first all-digital English-language TV network, “not only does not promote Russia's credibility, but undercuts it further.”

US, Russia: A Pro-Russian Lobby

  22 April 2010

Eugene Ivanov of The Ivanov Report believes that the US-Russian “‘reset’ needs a charger, and the pro-Russian lobby should play the role of this charger.”

Russia, US: Artyom Savelyev's Case

  21 April 2010

Natalia Antonova writes about the case of a 7-year-old adopted Russian boy, who was sent back from the United States alone on a plane to Russia by his adoptive mother: “Hansen acted out her supposed desperation in a dehumanizing and humiliating fashion. This adopted child had hurt her, and so...

Russia: Authorities Inspect Major Social Network

RuNet Echo  21 April 2010

Russia authorities started inspection of the country's major social network Vkontakte.ru, rbcdaily.ru reported. The authorities claim the social network became popular with neo-Nazi, xenophobic and extremist groups. But the inspection can also be an attempt to extract users’ private data.

Russia: Internet Development in Regions

RuNet Echo  21 April 2010

Yandex.ru published report [RUS, .pdf] on Internet development in Russian regions. Report concludes that the drastic increase in Internet penetration during 2009 was in Russian regions. The average speed of the Internet there is 1,100 kbs. The most active bloggers are in the Far East.

Russia: The ‘Little Blue Buckets’ Protest

RuNet Echo  19 April 2010

The Little Blue Buckets mock protest, initiated (RUS) by LJ user cook, took place in Moscow Sunday, as drivers fitted their cars with blue plastic buckets (siniye vedyorki) to protest the impunity of state officials who routinely use blue flashing lights (migalki) on their vehicles to violate traffic rules and...

About our Eastern & Central Europe coverage

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

Roman Shemakov is the Eastern Europe editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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