Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from June, 2012
Moldova, Transnistria, Gagauzia: “Get to Know Your Neighbor”
On June 30, young social media activists from the cities of Chișinău and Bălți, and from Transnistria and Gagauzia, are meeting for a “get to know your neighbor” event [ro, ru], to discuss issues relevant for young people who grew up separated by geopolitics and the role of social networks...
Slovakia: Teachers Call for Help in Open Letter to Education Minister
Two elementary school teachers wrote an open letter to the Slovak Minister of Education, highlighting the problems they face with their students who are “significantly maladjusted socially, [and] are almost exclusively students of the Romani origin,” sparking controversy.
Russia: A Mobile Service to Connect Passengers & Drivers
The mobile navigation service Yeehay! saves time and money finding and ordering taxis, and it benefits the ecologies of smog-polluted Russian cities by bringing together passengers and drivers who otherwise might never connect.
Russia: The War Over World War II
Last Friday, NTV broadcast a controversial film titled, "I Serve the Soviet Union," a film about political prisoners fighting the Nazis only to be murdered by Soviet secret police. The screening lead to a scandal that involved patriotic bloggers, the Minister of Culture, and others. Kevin Rothrock reports.
Hungary: New Freedom of Information Tool
Vastagbőr blog [hu] is promoting the use of atlatszo.hu's new website KiMitTud [‘WhoKnowsWhat’], which allows users to send freedom of information requests to any institutions responsible for spending public funds in Hungary. Vastagbőr wrote: “Those who have ever asked themselves these questions, ‘I wonder how much this cost?’ or ‘Who...
Belarus: Views From the Ground
Below is a selection of some "views from the ground" - recent posts by Belarusian bloggers about the situation in the country and what it is like for ordinary people to live there.
Caucasus: Photo Reports by a Belarusian Blogger
Ani Wandaryan (@GoldenTent) links to this photo report [ru] from Armenia by Anton Motolko, a photographer, blogger and traveller from Minsk, Belarus (LJ user toxaby, @Motolko). More of his photos [ru] – from Azerbaijan and from Georgia.
Belarus: Parliamentary Elections Set for Sept. 23
Transitions Online (TOL.org, @TransitionsMag) reports that the parliamentary elections in Belarus have been scheduled to take place on September 23 – and tweets this question: “Will they be (un)free and (un)fair?”
Russia: Crowdsourcing Project for Finding Missing Children
The emergence of the search and rescue team Liza Alert followed Liza Fomkina's 2010 disappearance in the town of Orekhovo-Zuevo (about 50 miles east of Moscow). Compensating for the government's flawed response, volunteers united in order to ensure nothing like it would ever happen again.
Ukraine: Marko Dević's “Ghost Goal”
On Facebook, in the past two hours, over 4,800 users have ‘shared’ and over 2,900 have ‘liked’ the screenshot of the “ghost goal” by Ukraine's Marko Dević in today's Euro 2012 game against England. The screenshot was posted by Korrespondent, a Ukrainian news site and magazine, and over 400 comments...
Latvia: Jackie Chan Blogs About Filming in Jelgava
Facebook page “If you like Latvia, Latvia likes you” highlights movie star Jackie Chan's April 2012 blog post, in which he shared his “impressions about 15 day long filming of movie stunts in Jelgava, Latvia, plus lots of photos. He tells about flying experience in Aerodium vertical wind tunnel, which...
Poland, Ukraine: A Euro 2012 Roundup
Notes and musings on issues related to the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine: at Polandian – here, here, and here; at Memory at War – here; at Raf Uzar – here; at Politics, Economy, Society – here; at The Pipeline – here.
Ukraine: President Yanukovych's European Assets
On OpenDemocracy.com, Ukrainian journalist Serhij Leschenko writes about President Viktor Yanukovych's “luxury residence and the money trail that leads to London”: “Having completely rejected such European values as human rights and democracy, the Ukrainian president uses Europe as a place to hide his dirty money with impunity. European leaders who...
Ukraine: Obstacles to Having a Visa-Free Regime With the EU
On Causes.com, “Make Europe visa-free for Ukrainians” now has 970 members. Odessablogger explains what some of the obstacles to a visa-free regime are: “The 2015 goal for visa-free with the EU, set by the Ukrainian government, looks likely to be 2017 due to its own inability to legislate for biometrics...
Russia: Twitter Hashtag Targeting Putin Trends Worldwide
Last month, a Russian hashtag was briefly among the top worldwide trends on Twitter. This remarkable hashtag, written in Russian Cyrillic and 30 letters long, has been used to criticize President Putin and mock popular national events. Augis Barkov reports.
Russia: Interview with Jesse Heath of The Russia Monitor
As an American lawyer and Anglophone blogger writing about Russia, Jesse Heath's work is distinct for its detailed focus on technical aspects of Russian law, economics, and politics. Kevin Rothrock recently spoke with Heath by telephone, to learn more about his history as a blogger and his contributions to the RuNet.
Russia: Bloggers Honor Tupac Shakur
Highly intelligent and socially aware, Tupac Shakur embodied the plight of contemporary African Americans who struggle to overcome poverty and racism. RuNet bloggers have honored him by his story from beginning to end on the anniversary of his birth. (June 16, 1971 - September 13, 1996)
SEE: Social Media Use Study
Growth in social media activities has slowed down, indicates the research of Wave6 [sr; en], which surveyed active Internet users in 62 countries: Macedonia and Croatia are more involved in the social media than Serbia, where watching video clips is the most popular activity (91%). For the first time, there...
Serbia: “Internet (R)evolution”
Center for Internet Development in Serbia reports [sr] that Serbs use the Internet mostly for current news (63%) and educational purposes. The research was conducted in April 2012, with a sample of 1,239 respondents: 80% of them considered communication and info-exchange with government institutions via Internet very relevant, while 68%...
Russia: Death Threats for Journalists and Forgiveness for Officials
A bizarre story involving Russia's top investigator threatening the life of an opposition newspaper's deputy editor, and how everyone reconciled a day later. Kevin Rothrock reports.
Bulgaria: Protests Against Forest Act in Sofia
For two days, June 13 and 14, Bulgaria's capital Sofia was blocked due to the unsanctioned protests against the modification of the vague Forest Act. The third rally is scheduled to take place today. Ruslan Trad reports.