Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from April, 2011
One of Belgrade's nicest parks has recently got renovated - thanks, partially, to a donation of 2 million euros by the Azerbaijani government. The news that has been stirring controversy these past few weeks among Serbian bloggers is the condition for this gift: in return for the donation, a monument to Heydar Aliyev, the former president of Azerbaijan, will have to be erected in the park.
Popular photoblogger Ilya Varlamov continues to fight the common and unconstitutional ban on taking pictures in supermarkets. He posted a photo essay on his misadventures in Evropeysky, a large supermarket in Moscow, where he was prevented from taking photos.
Russian Federal Service for Drug Control plans to monitor the blogosphere to analyze the situation with drugs in the country, Lenta.ru reported.
Michael Dembinski of W-wa Jeziorki notes that corruption in Poland continues to decrease in contrast to many other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, according to a recent article in The Economist.
Juris Kaža of Telecoms in Latvia draws attention to a recent hacker attach on the Latvian news agency LETA, closing down the website for several hours.
Streetwise Professor points to the parallel buyout of a partner in TNK-BP oil company by the Russian state oil company Rosneft and British Petroleum, with the abolition of a tax release, possibly resulting in decreased company value for the upcoming sale.
Ari Rusila's BalkanBlog argues that Serbia may find too many obstacles to continue its accession to the European Union, and instead might find other alternatives more appetizing.
Aleksandr Strannik (LJ user av-strannik) arrived at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in mid-August of 1986, some four months after the April 26 blast at Reactor #4, to assist in the clean-up effort. Twenty-five years later, he is sharing some of his memories and photos from that time.
Liudmyla Bulychova guestblogs at UK Ambassador Leigh Turner's blog about Charity Walk to Chornobyl, which was held on April 22-23. More stories [en, fr] and photos – here.
uaMuzik and Nash Holos blog about the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe.
Julia Ioffe of The Moscow Diaries (now hosted on Forbes.com) writes about the kidnapping of Ivan Kaspersky, the 19-year-old son of the founders of the Russian computer security company Kaspersky Lab.
Last night, four people were injured in a clash between ethnic Hungarian members of the far-right group Véderő and members of the Roma community in the village of Gyöngyöspata. Contradictory accounts have been published in the Hungarian media about how exactly the fight started - and neither of the communities has taken responsibility for the clash.
Nikolay Podosokorskiy analyzes [ru] activity of Russian political parties in the social networks. According to his brief research, ruling party “United Russia” is one of the closest and inactive parties online, while the most active is the Communist Party of Russia with more than 73,000 members at Vkontakte groups and...
Anton Nossik publishes [ru] 5 rules of successful crowd funding: 1.it should have an aim, 2. it should be transparent, 3. it should be tested before launch, 4. it should also facilitate non-financial help, 5. initiators should disclose their own efforts of improving the project they collect money for. Oleg Kozlovsky...
Siberian Light writes about “a Russian connection” in the UK Royal Wedding story: “the George III Tiara, or the Russian Fringe Tiara” that Kate Middleton may wear for the April 29 ceremony. Also, “even if you’re in Russia, there’s no escape [from the Royal Wedding Mania], because you’ll be able...
An archaeologist blogger reacts to the new legislation that legalizes illegal construction in Macedonia, including buildings that destroy historical heritage sites.
The first international forum of eco-bloggers and journalists took place in Moscow on April 18-19. The forum aimed to create an international community of people writing about environmental issues and deploy the power of new media to help overcome the challenges in the field.
The Ufa city court in Bashkortostan sentenced bloggers Robert Zagreev and Ayrat Dilmikhametov to three and six years in prison for extremist activities “with the use of media,” Russian news agency Interfax reported. The bloggers pleaded not guilty.
Alexander Izmailov was found gulty in posting 649 comments online criticizing the authorities and not shying away from curse words, Ufimskij Zhurnal reported. Izmailov also frequently produced photo collages making fun of the President of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov who is notorious for limiting Internet freedom in the republic. Izmailov will...
More than 90 percent of new users are not from Moscow or Saint-Petersburg, Yandex regional Internet development report says [ru]. Authors note a significant increase in Internet use nation-wide, 30-60 percent decrease in broadband prices, 10 percent raise of everyday user share. The report, quite optimistically forecasts that country's Internet...
First, there were the rumors of a right-wing paramilitary group's plans to hold training in the village of Gyöngyöspata. Then came the local mayor's resignation. Then on April 22, some 300 Roma women and children left the village. While media used the word 'evacuation' to describe what happened, government officials claimed the Roma had been taken on an Easter weekend holiday trip.