· September, 2012

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from September, 2012

Russia: Nation's Top Blogger Headed to Prison?

RuNet Echo  29 September 2012

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 the embezzlement of 16 million rubles (over half a million U.S. dollars), and named Navalny as the scheme's mastermind.

Russia: Ridiculing the Winter Olympics Slogan

RuNet Echo  29 September 2012

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 English version of the slogan may sound slightly confusing and a bit corny, it isn't particularly rich fodder for jokes or double entendres.

Ukraine: Protesting the Controversial Defamation Bill

  29 September 2012

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 against the adoption of the bill, its author submitted a request to recall it. The bill isn't history yet, however, and the protest continues.

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

RuNet Echo  28 September 2012

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 Internet's growing popularity is transforming it into a political weapon: a weapon that is increasingly guarded by American, albeit private, media firms.

Czech Republic: Roma Resist Evictions in Ostrava

  28 September 2012

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 of the area and ongoing struggle of its residents.

Russia: Yekaterinburg Police Raid Regional Internet Publication

RuNet Echo  27 September 2012

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 apparently managed to leave the country before masked operatives arrived at her apartment and scared her mother and young son [ru]....

Russia: Writers Put Down Pens to Stand Atop Soap Boxes

RuNet Echo  25 September 2012

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 before ultimately dropping out. Bearing in mind that writing is not the most popular of professions, this is a hefty proportion of the total.

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

RuNet Echo  23 September 2012

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 police at a mass demonstration in early May. Twenty-three of Russia's most noteworthy intellectuals and activists have signed an online...

Azerbaijan: Political Forces United on Pardoned Axe Murderer

  22 September 2012

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, release, and promotion of an Azerbaijani soldier who axed to death a sleeping Armenian counterpart on a NATO Partnership for...

Russia: Activist Journalists or Bolshevik Bloggers?

RuNet Echo  21 September 2012

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, such interpersonal relationships are clearly visible to outside observers. But what does this overlap say about Russia's journalist culture?

Macedonia: Activist's Trial to Continue in November

  21 September 2012

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 of ‘the brave’ plaintiff, whose attorney said he did not know his whereabouts. The Court was allegedly informed that he...

Russia: After the APEC Summit

RuNet Echo  21 September 2012

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. Bloggers' biggest issue, however, was President Putin's promise to send some APEC volunteers on a cruise to Japan, who went, and who did not.

Ukraine: United Opposition's Rally in Odessa

  20 September 2012

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 popularity of the United Opposition”: […] A monologue stating just how bad Party of Regions are then ensued. […] The...

Kosovo: Venice Biennale “Newcomer”

  19 September 2012

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 future design landscape. More on the Kosovo Pavilion – here.

Romania: “Church and State”

  19 September 2012

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

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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