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· September, 2012

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from September, 2012

Russia: Nation's Top Blogger Headed to Prison?

The criminal investigation targeting Russia's most prominent oppositionist blogger, Alexey Navalny, is heating up. Viacheslav Opalev, the former director of a logging firm in Kirov, has confessed [ru] to participating in...

Russia: Ridiculing the Winter Olympics Slogan

The just-announced slogan of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics (“Hot. Cool. Yours.”) has spurred a brief episode of merrymaking on the RuNet. At first that may seem surprising, while the...

Ukraine: Protesting the Controversial Defamation Bill

A bill that calls for penalties of up to five years in jail for defamation passed a first reading in the Ukrainian Parliament on Sep. 18. Following the online campaign...

Russia: The Kostin Report & the Trojan Horse of American ICT

Earlier this week, the media got a sneak peek at a new report on the foreign penetration of the RuNet and the potential manipulation of the country's future elections. The...

Czech Republic: Roma Resist Evictions in Ostrava

This summer, Přednádraží, a small neighborhood in Ostrava, has been the site of an intense struggle against unlawful evictions of the predominantly Roma residents. Daniela Kantorova reports on the history...

Russia: Yekaterinburg Police Raid Regional Internet Publication

On September 27th Yekaterinburg-based internet news portal URA.ru was raided by city police, reports [ru] Evgeny Roizman, local anti-drug campaigner. Roizman is dating the editor-in-chief of the portal, Aksana Panova, who has...

Russia: Ominous Predictions of Conflict in Dagestan

Dagestan is among Russia’s most impoverished and ethnically diverse republics. Recent tension between Sunni Sufi and Salafi communities suggest more conflict may not be far to come.

Hungary: Parliament Forced to Take Domestic Violence Seriously

Despite initial setbacks, the Hungarian public has succeeded in convincing the Parliament to treat the issue of domestic violence seriously.

Russia: Writers Put Down Pens to Stand Atop Soap Boxes

Now, nine people who self-identify as writers are running in the elections for the so-called "Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition," and a tenth strongly considered registering as a candidate...

Ukraine: Localized ‘Yes-butno’ Meme Highlights ‘Most Popular Stereotypes’

The Yes-butno meme "created to break assumptions and stereotypes that everyone makes about various cultures, genders, sexualities, etc", has gone viral on the Ukrainian segment of Facebook, thanks to Lviv-based...

Russia: Human Rights Figures Petition Online to Free May 6 Prisoners

As the din of the Pussy Riot trial fades, some human rights activists in Russia are seeking to shift the public's focus to protesters arrested in connection with violence against...

Azerbaijan: Political Forces United on Pardoned Axe Murderer

In Mutatione Fortitudo says that the two main opposition parties in Azerbaijan have united behind the government in its criticism of a European Parliament ruling condemning the 31 August pardon,...

Belarus: Early Voting Boosts Turnout Amid Calls to Boycott Elections

The parliamentary election in Belarus is to take place on Sunday, Sep. 23, but the early voting has already begun, and the turnout may end up being high, despite calls...

Russia: Activist Journalists or Bolshevik Bloggers?

Anyone following the Russian protest movement cannot help but notice the degree to which many Russian journalists are involved with the opposition. In the age of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram,...

Macedonia: Activist's Trial to Continue in November

On his Facebook page, activist Žarko Trajanoski wrote [mk] about the latest session of his trial (started in 2010): ‘The Process’ continued – the accused presented his defense in absence...

Russia: After the APEC Summit

The 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok has come and gone. What remains is discussion of what APEC means to Russia’s Far East and the country as a whole....

Ukraine: United Opposition's Rally in Odessa

Odessablogger writes about the recent rally of the United Opposition's Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Odessa, explaining “why the unpopularity of the Party of Regions has not been reflected in the rising...

Kosovo: Venice Biennale “Newcomer”

Facebook page “Southeast Europe: People and Culture” notes that “Kosovo is one of this year's newcomers to the [Venice Biennale]”: The pavilion allows visitors to share their views on Kosovo's...

Albania: Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival

The Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival 2012 opens in Tirana today. This is the third time that the festival is being held; this year's theme is “TALK TO ME...

Romania: “Church and State”

At OpenDemocracy.net, Luke Dale-Harris writes about the Romanian Orthodox Church's “threatening influence on democracy in the country.”

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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