Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from February, 2012
NGO Greenbox is compensating for the lack of web interface for the air pollution measuring system in Skopje by posting photos of the display on their blog. Filip Stojanovski writes about the initiative.
Citizen media outlets have captured the multidimensional essence of the Russian Orthodox Lenten season, which began on Monday, including issues such the religiosity of post-USSR Russia, the liturgical calendar, the peculiarities of the Orthodox traditions and fasting rituals compared to those observed in the West, and the public statements made by prominent church officials.
In the situation when the U.S. action film star Chuck Norris leads in the public vote for the name of the bridge across the Morava River into Austria [en], blogger Ondrej Horváth recommends [sk] asking Mr. Norris before making the final decision, because otherwise it is possible that the bridge...
Below is a quick overview of what some of the Anglophone Russia bloggers have been writing during the busy pre-election month of February.
Juris Kaža of Free Speech Emergency in Latvia reports that Latvian security police has closed an investigation into an Internet call to desecrate the Latvian flag, which is illegal in the country. The case was closed as there was no evidence of any victim of flag burning.
On Sunday, Feb. 26, thousands of people gathered in central Moscow for the Big White Circle protest, forming a human chain along most of the length of the Russian capital's 15.6-kilometer/9.7-mile Garden Ring, protesting against corruption and demanding a fair presidential election, which is to take place in one week, on March 4.
On Thursday, February 23, ten days before the March 4 presidential election, the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addressed thousands of people at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. A number of Moscow-based bloggers attended the event, too. Below is a selection of their photo reports and observations, along with some of the remarks from their audiences.
With Russian soldiers stations in Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, hundreds of Georgians called for their withdrawal on the Russian president's Facebook page.
Pro-Putin rallies, also known as Putings, took place in many Russian cities last weekend. One such Puting caused a scandal in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok, which is renowned for its strong support of the opposition and for anti-Kremlin moods in general. Masha Egupova reports.
At Jamestown Foundation Blog, Valery Dzutsev reports that Ramzan Kadyrov, the President of Chechnya, has called politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny “a real chatterbox” – and Navalny retaliated by publishing (here and, later, here; ru) “the results of his investigation of the Chechen police’s car inventory acquisitions, naming and...
Taras Kuzio of Jamestown Foundation Blog writes about corruption in Ukraine's parliament and alleged preparations for election fraud.
Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev serves as an example of the quintessential 'New Russian' through his controversial activities during the Yeltsin era, his modern business practices, and his extravagant international spending - he has just purchased the most expensive New York City apartment to date.
One Chinese vlogger has gone viral with his impersonation of the accents of a few Asian neighbors and other cultures from around the globe. How much do these differ from similar crude stereotypes you've seen elsewhere?
A Polish gossip portal's take on the massive anti-ACTA protests has highlighted issues that are truly relevant for today's young people. Katarzyna Odrozek reports on the avalanche of reactions from netizens and the mainstream media that this unlikely source of serious reporting has created.
Alexander Ovechkin is a Russian-born NHL hockey player who is surrounded by controversy due to his aggressive style of play, but who remains in the public spotlight because of his talent and pure sensationalism.
Blogger Ulrika Lejnarová, highlighting air pollution data from the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute [sk], wonders [sk] why Slovakia, while often paying attention to the critical conditions in Hungary [en], is doing little to inform its own citizens of the domestic situation adequately, in order to avoid health complications.
In October 2010, a toxic spill from a red sludge reservoir in Kolontár caused the greatest environmental disaster in Hungary's recent history. Atlatszo.hu and Greenpeace are now drawing attention to another hazardous waste reservoir, in the town of Almásfüzitő, which is "leaking like a sponge" and is already causing grave environmental and health damage.
A drama in the air over the Skopje airport received an immediate reflection via Twitter, after a successful emergency landing. Filip Stojanovski reports.
Hundreds of anti-ACTA protests took place all over Europe for Saturday, February 11. Bulgaria was no exception: thousands of protesters braved cold in Sofia and 14 other Bulgarian cities and towns. Even though much remains to be done, these rallies have shown a breach in the Bulgarians' apathy wall.
GV Author Filip Stojanovski posts pictures of Skopje's snowy and icy streets and reports on his blog: “[…] the pavements and the side streets in the municipality of Centar remain icy. Some are covered by layers of ice or re-frozen slush, by old frozen snow, or an unevenly hardened mash...
St. Petersburg is getting closer to signing into law the notorious "anti-gay propaganda bill." "Will talking about Tchaikovsky be banned?" tweets British writer and actor Stephen Fry. Some of the Russian netizens' reactions are translated below.