Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from July, 2012
A blogger and leader of the Youth Human Rights Group in Karelia, has fled Russia to Poland after months of interrogations by prosecutors that included threats of detention in a psychiatric clinic in retaliation for statements made online against the Russian Orthodox Church.
On Facebook, Andrey Klimenko of BlackSeaNews.net posted night photos (here and here; ru) of the fire raging in the mountainous forest reserve near Yalta, Crimea. On July 31 [ru], there is smog, ashes in the air and strong northeast wind in Yalta: “Early in the morning it seemed it would...
"We're not going to go to any more of these meetings, we've decided. From now on, let the suck-ups get together - the Nashists and the 'Stal'evtsy - but we won't be there" - A blogger reacts to a meeting with Penza's Governor.
The official website of the London 2012 Olympics turned out to be not the most reliable source of info on a number of foreign-born members of the Russian team. Demanding corrections, Ukrainian netizens launched a protest letter-writing campaign, and even the Foreign Minister got involved via Twitter.
The Russian online group "Nepofigism" offers a free legal consulting service. The project's creators designate no particular direction for the consulting. Their aim is to offer real help to people with any type of problem. The site is a space for professionals and ordinary Internet users with various legal and everyday problems.
Georgia uses blogging and new media to project soft power in Russia. Even though most Georgians blog in Georgian, there is a sizable contingent of Russian speaking Georgians on Russia's most popular blogging platform LiveJournal. Georgia's government also follows a strategy of co-opting the Russian public through the smart use of new media.
Novgorod Senator Dmitri Krivitskii has accused [ru] local blogger Vadim Beriashvili of violating the Russian criminal code's infamous Article 282 [en], alleging that he incited hatred against “a social group” when he wrote [ru] facetiously in April 2012 about Senator Krivitskii's suspiciously low income declaration. After local investigators questioned Beriashvili, he responded by filing...
Say the word "roads" to most Russians, and you are likely to end up with a half-hour discussion. Throughout history, Russia has been infamous for its bad road quality. However, now the city of Yekaterinburg seems to have come up with a solution to the problem, by making bureaucrats get down to work.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has taken stringent measures to try to ensure no ‘ambush marketing’ tactics are used during the London 2012 Olympics. A common feature at modern major sporting events, ambush marketers try to sneak in promotions of their brands and companies in front of the crowd and, most importantly, the TV cameras. Sports law bloggers and marketers posted their opinions on ambush marketing and the London Olympics.
The June 29 murder of Svetloyarsk Raion administration head Nikolay Krutov was a blip on that day’s news. It was not unprecedented, but unraveling why the crime was committed (and what it means) is anything but straightforward.
When noted Russian anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny's email and Twitter accounts were hacked, it came as no surprise that the hacker "Hell" took responsibility. A legendary figure in the RuNet, the hacker can either be characterized as a Kremlin shill or a professional troll.
Anti-Kremlin blogger Vladislav Naganov responded to this week's shooting in a Denver, Colorado, movie theater by arguing [ru] that American gun violence proves the need for expanded gun rights in Russia, explaining that “gun-free zones,” such as “schools, college campuses, and large stores,” are left defenseless against armed madmen because citizens...
Faulty and out-of-order fire hydrants made it difficult to control a fire that broke out in the Kutya mountain, close to the town of Nagykovácsi in Hungary. This inspired the founder of a community news site Nagykovácsi.net Dávid Fáber to launch a community-driven data gathering initiative to document all of the town's fire hydrants through his website's registered users.
On June 12, Moldova’s parliament condemned the Soviet totalitarian communist regime and prohibited the use of the communist symbols, the hammer and sickle. Diana Lungu reports on the online reactions to this important yet belated decision.
Writing in the politics-ru LiveJournal community [ru], user oficer2001 [ru] alleges that pat-index, the blogger at the center of the case in Yaroslavl (where LJ was banned by court order), is actually a United Russia member, raising concerns that the Russian authorities are already using state-sponsored trolls to flood the RuNet with illegal...
A picture says more than a thousand words, the saying goes. An Instagram snapshot that the Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev tweeted as a tacit comment to his visit to Minsk sure does: the "Belarusian Circus."
Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar has just begun. It is a time when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, try to get closer to God and celebrate their blessings. Around the world, Muslims have been trying to capture the spirit of the month with photographs, sharing them on different social media websites.
Earlier this week, a Yaroslavl court responded to a request from local police and ordered Internet provider Netis Telekom to shut off access to a handful of websites, including Russia's most popular blogging platform, LiveJournal. As a result, roughly 6,000 subscribers have lost all LJ access.
Maya M of Maya's Corner comments on today's deadly bus explosion in the Bulgarian city of Burgas: “[…] While I understand that even the best intelligence can overlook the preparation of a terror act, I am angry, because our “services” are overstaffed and overfunded. They have generous subsidies even in...
At least seven people were killed in an attack against Israeli youth on a tour bus in Burgus Airport in Bulgaria. Reports claim the attack was most likely carried out by a suicide bomber, who was either next to the bus or who got on the bus.
Taras of Ukrainiana posts a video of the roundtable discussion by the Ukrainian “united opposition” (which took place on July 17 and lasted 3 hours and 37 minutes) – as well as videos featuring “Dnipropetrovsk subway construction workers who have gone without pay for six months” and a Dnipropetrovsk woman...