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· January, 2012

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from January, 2012

Russia, Syria: Anti- and Pro-Assad Facebook Comment Attack

RuNet Echo31 January 2012

Facebook pages of some Russian media outlets (e.g., Afisha, Bolshoi Gorod, Esquire Russia, Channel 1, MTV Russia) were deluged with copy-pasted comments [ru, ar] from users who appeared to be supporters of the Syrian opposition earlier today. An excerpt from a typical comment [ru, ar]: “Syria's regime is killing people...

Macedonia: “Conformism, Hypocrisy and Opportunism”

30 January 2012

Human rights activist, journalist and artist Xhabir M. Deralla candidly expressed his view on the role of the civic sector in contemporary Macedonia: “The choir of indolent subjects stands mute. As media get quieter, the stench of the decay prevails. The civil society forgets that media are civil society, too....

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Ukraine: The Story of Anna Boiko's Life

30 January 2012

"She is a cheerful, talented, strong person. A person who has been through a lot, who is full of knowledge and memories," writes Olya Suprun about her 75-year-old grandmother, whose memories she is sharing on the award-winning blog called "The Story of Anna Boiko's Life." Tetyana Bohdanova reports.

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US, Russia: The Flying Balalaika Brothers Bridge Cultural Gaps in Texas

30 January 2012

Like many of their compatriots, musicians Zhenya Kolykhanov and Sergey Vaschenko emigrated from Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and have since established themselves in Austin, Texas. Through their band, The Flying Balalaika Brothers, and a non-profit called Musical Connections, they work to bridge cultural gaps by exposing Texans to international art.

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Citizens Policing Traffic Violations in Sarajevo

29 January 2012

Using the Facebook page [bs] “Moj grad, moja sigurnost, moja odgovornost” (“My city, my security, my responsibility”), Sarajevo residents are uploading pictures of illegally parked cars and reckless drivers, trying to convince the authorities to take action and protect pedestrians. According to the administrators of the page, there has been...

Slovakia: Protesting Corruption, Protesting “Gorilla”

29 January 2012

The Economist's Eastern Approaches blog writes about Slovakia's corruption scandal caused by the leaked info from the 2005-06 wiretapping operation codenamed “Gorilla” (more – here). On Friday, Jan. 27, an anti-corruption rally – “Protest Gorila” [sk; Facebook page]- took place in the capital Bratislava (photos are here, videos – here)....

Slovakia: Roma “Apartheid” – and New Housing?

28 January 2012

According to this report [en], a US-based Hindu group was shocked by the “maltreatment” of the Roma in Slovakia, calling “to end Roma apartheid.” At the same time, the Slovak government announced [en] a new wave of social housing construction for the Roma, expecting that “the number of illegal Roma...

Slovakia: More News on Overly Expensive Website Design

28 January 2012

Aktualne.sk reports [sk] that, following the initial financial inspection by the Ministry of Culture, the Slovak National Gallery is now required to pay 140 euro back, from the 25,000 euro that it reportedly spent on its new website (more on this here and here). Meanwhile, according to the World Association...

Slovakia: Competition to Re-Design the National Gallery's Site

27 January 2012

In response to the 25,000-euro “minimalist” website design of the Slovak National Gallery, zajtra.sk started its own competition [sk] for the website's re-design, offering 100 euro to the winner. Authors are mostly students, and they often declare how many hours – and, sometimes, minutes – they spent on their re-design.

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Serbia: The Media War Against Angelina Jolie

26 January 2012

Angelina Jolie was concerned about the reception of her director's debut movie, 'In the Land of Blood and Honey', in Bosnia and Serbia, and some of her fears turned out to be justified. Sasa Milosevic reports on the virtual battle that Jolie's film has caused.

Macedonia: Analyzing Skopje 2014

25 January 2012

Jasna Koteska published an analysis of the implications of Skopje 2014 project in the light of the concepts developed by foremost contemporary philosophers and other thinkers. Informative and readable, full of juicy details on the use of history to create a new nationalist ideology.

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Romania: “I, the Citizen”

25 January 2012

Street protests in Romania have been going on for over a week now. The protesters are demanding early elections; they do not yet have a leader, but they nevertheless have a powerful voice. Oana Maria Dan reports.

Russia: Community of Election Observers Launched

RuNet Echo24 January 2012

Creators of popular citizen crowdsourcing projects RosYama and RosPil Alexey Navalny and Georgiy Alburov launch a new project RosVybory [ru], a community of election observers. Users submit their data to the website, then project moderators apply for the necessary observer documents and send registered users to the nearby voting ballots.

“Russia Without Fools,” a Crowdsourced Feedback Portal Launched

RuNet Echo23 January 2012

A committee of supporters of president Dmitry Medvedev had launched a crowdsourcing citizens-to-government feedback portal “Russia Without Fools” [ru] that allows to submit cases of officials’ stupidity or abuse. So far, the cases can be submitted freely and censorship hasn't been reported. Dmitry Ternovskiy, popular photoblogger, however, notes [ru] that...

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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