· July, 2012

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from July, 2012

Ukraine: Forest Fires in Yalta, Crimea

  31 July 2012

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...

Ukraine, Russia: Olympic Athletes’ Birthplace Controversy

RuNet Echo  31 July 2012

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.

Russia: Nepofigism, Free Crowdsourced Legal Consultation

RuNet Echo  30 July 2012

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.

‘Small’ Georgia Takes on ‘Big’ Russia with New Media

RuNet Echo  30 July 2012

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.

Russia: Senator Wants Criminal Case Against Satirical Blogger

RuNet Echo  28 July 2012

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...

Russia: Paving Political Potholes

RuNet Echo  28 July 2012

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.

London Olympics: Ambush Marketers Be Warned!

  26 July 2012

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.

Russia: The Killing of Krutov

RuNet Echo  26 July 2012

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.

Russia: Hacker Hell, Scourge of the RuNet

RuNet Echo  23 July 2012

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.

Russia: The Denver Cinema Shooting As A Case for Gun Rights in Russia

RuNet Echo  22 July 2012

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...

Hungary: Community News Site Takes On Neglected Fire Hydrants

  22 July 2012

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.

Moldova: Communism – Is It Really Over Now?

  21 July 2012

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.

Russia: A Conspiracy Theory Against United Russia in Yaroslavl's LJ Case

RuNet Echo  21 July 2012

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...

MENA: Welcoming Ramadan

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.

Russia: Yaroslavl Court Bans LiveJournal

RuNet Echo  20 July 2012

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.

Ukraine: “Opposition Talk” Vs. Reality

  18 July 2012

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...

About our Eastern & Central Europe coverage

Filip Stojanovski is the Central Europe editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.

Roman Shemakov is the Eastern Europe editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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