Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from October, 2011
Jovan Petrov provides an overview of the problem with the lead and zync smelting factory in Veles, after the court rejected a suit against the state from the municipality and local NGOs, demanding cleaning of pollution which will affect “10 generations to come” in this impoverished community.
Current online political activity in Russia points to information warfare occurring between independent civil-society groups or remnants of 'traditional' political opposition, against various government officials and pro-government youth movements.
Habrahabr-user uhaby writes [ru] about otdamgolos.ru, a web-portal that offers users to propose alternative parliamentary and presidential candidates as well as to vote for them. The author claims that within 10 days his website attended 137,500+ visitors. In the virtual parliamentary election three parties received most votes: 1. The Pirate Party,...
Udmurtia.tv publishes a video [ru] of Denis Agashin, Izhevsk city manager, telling the representatives of veteran organizations that the next year's financial support will depend on the results of “United Russia” party in their district. As Alexander Kynev, a prominent political analyst, points out: “Progress it's not only forcing students...
11-minute headcam video [ru] of a story that could end up with a human casualty. Russian paraglider pilot making his first flight in Himalayas was attacked by three eagles, one of which got trapped into the paraglider strings. Thanks to the second parachute the pilot could land and then –...
LJ-user dedmaxopka publishes [ru] pictures of himself placing a pirate flag over Novosibirsk city administration. “We just wanted to make nice pictures of the city,” explained the blogger to the police that identified him the same day. Blogger was charged with ‘petty hooliganism’ and had to pay a small fine.
Russian tennis phenomenon, Marat Safin, has announced that he will run for the Russian State Duma in the December 4 elections. However, his public image, as illustrated by citizen media outlets, has until now not been focused on public service. Donna Welles reports.
Ordinary Ukrainians are using citizen media and social networks to voice their commitment to European values and organize rallies in support of Ukraine's European orientation. Veronica Khokhlova reports.
Watcher.com.ua [uk], a Ukrainian Internet business and social media marketing website, launches [uk] Best Ukrainian Blog Awards (BUBA). Participants may be nominated and voted for by Internet users between Oct. 26 and Nov. 18, 2011. Winners will be announced on Nov. 19 at Microsoft Blogfest 2011 [uk].
Gazeta.ru writes [ru] about government-sponsored NGOs that help simulate legitimacy of the election process. Among others authors mention ktonarushil.ru, a fake crowdsourcing monitoring portal launched by “United Russia” party. Not only it reminds kartanarusheniy.ru [an authentic monitoring website run by independent election monitor “Golos.org”] but it also doesn't allow to file...
The Economist writes about WikiVote (e.g. see projects dedicated to the laws on education, Sberbank, state-owned bank), Russian croudsourcing platform to comment and contribute to the creation of the laws. Pavel Burov, creator of the platform, claims his project can ‘prevent idiocy [in lawmaking] from happening.’
Anonymous male prison officer from Amur region who had been captured beating and abusing female inmates was arrested, Ria.ru reported [ru]. The arrest was conducted after the shocking video [warning: graphic content] of prison violence was uploaded by the YouTube user MrArtur113.
Russia is entering a personal data leak war led by anonymous hackers. After the partly-fake contents of the Alexey Navalny's mailbox was published, the RuNet was struck with another massive leak of personal data belonging to 24,324 participants of the pro-Kremlin youth camp “Seliger 2011,” ridus.ru reported [ru].
Anna Arutiunova at Russia Profile covers recent pre-election RuNet scandals (see also this week's GV coverage here and here). “RuNet has become an essential platform for the dirty business of political campaigning. It’s just that unlike the press or television, where pseudonyms are not the order of the day, the...
Julie Kertesz started blogging and photographing at the age of 70. Now at 77, she has become a role-model to people of all ages who desire to lead full and active lives of learning and doing. Paula Góes reports.
Vasiliy (@sosigusyan [ru]), military conscript and the author of “the Barracks Blog,” a Twitter-account telling about the life in the army (see transcripts of his tweets here [ru] and here [ru]) had been de-anonymized by the military authorities. The content of the micro-blog had been deleted and someone else started...
politicprank.ru, website dedicated to the phone pranks with politicians has launched on October 26, 2011. The first prank [ru] has been conducted allegedly with the head of the security of Vladimir Putin. Authenticity of the recording, however, is not proved yet.
Private mailbox allegedly belonging to Alexey Navalny, famous anti-corruption blogger, has been hacked and published at navalnymail.kz by an attacker nicknamed onenavnav [ru]. Navalny hasn't confirmed the authenticity of the leaked e-mails yet. Observers suggest that the leak might be connected to the plan of Navalny's discreditation.
Sleeping with Pengovsky analyses opinion polls for the upcoming December 4 parliamentary elections in Slovenia.
LEvko of Foreign Notes writes about a rising scandal in Ukraine, where the governing Party of Regions allegedly used a petroleum trade scam to finance the party during election campaigns.
Jonathan Hibberd of Chicken in Kiev addresses how Ukrainian politicians are increasingly becoming a pariah in the European Union, following the verdict of opposition leader Yulia Timoshenko.