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· May, 2013

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from May, 2013

Macedonian Journalist's Arrest Stirs Protest

  31 May 2013

Macedonian journalists gathered [mk; video and text: sq, mk] in front of the Criminal Court in the capital Skopje today to protest against the arrest of their colleague, Tomislav Kezarovski, according to this note [en] posted in the Macedonian Facebook group titled “Journalists and citizens in defense of the right...

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Journalists Fight Hired Hooligans and Police Indifference in Ukraine

  30 May 2013

May 18 was an eventful day in Ukraine's capital Kyiv. But of all the highlights of that day, only one incident - an attack on journalists that the police first failed to prevent and then failed to investigate properly - still remains in the spotlight, fueling online discussions and real-life protests.

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Cheat.org: What's Wrong with Russia's Online Petitions?

RuNet Echo  30 May 2013

The Russian government-sponsored initiative to increase public participation in policy making through a petition process, was met with suspicion even before its launch in April. Now, almost two months later, opposition bloggers are crying foul, claiming that the process has already been corrupted.

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The “Brave” Democrats of Russia's Growing Civil Society

RuNet Echo  29 May 2013

Last week, when Surkov-ally Alexey Chesnakov quit United Russia and publicly criticized the party, few in the English-speaking world noticed, but the event—like Surkov's ouster weeks earlier—could just as easily represent an important moment for Russian society.

VIDEO: Impromptu Georgian Chorus at Kyiv Airport

On May 21, YouTube user Yevgeni Melnik shared this video of a group of four anonymous Georgian men doing an impromptu performance of traditional Georgian singing and dancing at Terminal F of Kiev Boryspil International Airport. The video has gone viral among Ukrainian Internet users: as of May 28, it...

Alphabets Bring Joy and Sadness to Bulgaria

  27 May 2013

[…] One of the purest and most sacred holidays in Bulgaria! It's a celebration that makes us proud to have given something to the world! It's a holiday which is not related to any rebels, battles or violence, although it fills us with patriotism and joy. […] When you walk...

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After Probing Chemical Lake, Eco-Blogger Attacked in Russia

RuNet Echo  25 May 2013

Environmental protection has become a dangerous area of public activism in Russia—at least where industrial pollution is concerned. This is because eco-activists often directly oppose regional business interests, who sometimes react with force. A case in point: unknown assailants attacked and severely beat an eco-blogger from Pervouralsk, in retaliation for the publicity he is creating over a local chrome manufacturer dumping waste into the Chusovaya River.

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“When a Burglar Enters Your Home”: Debating Serbia's Self-Defense Law

  25 May 2013

Saško Bogeski killed a burglar in his home in Belgrade on Tuesday and was immediately arrested. The authorities believe this to be the case of excessive self-defense. Serbian netizens have united in their support for Bogeski and are demanding urgent changes to the relevant laws. Tamara Gočmanac reports.

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Russian Non-Profit “Mercy Island” Helps Stray Animals

RuNet Echo  24 May 2013

In an April 2013 interview with Evgeny Voropai of Social Technologies Greenhouse, Tatiana Nikitina, president of the charity group Mercy Island, discussed why public organizations are interested in social media and what challenges they face in their everyday work.

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How Big Is Alexey Navalny's Army?

RuNet Echo  22 May 2013

As Navalny's show-trial for lumber embezzlement continues, such questions are perhaps more important than ever. Here are some data-points which could be used to make a rough approximation:

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Laughing at Russia's Eurovision Shooting Spirit

Earlier today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on his country's fifth place finish in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. At a press conference, Lavrov denounced supposed voting irregularities, claiming that Russia's points were "stolen," and called the anomaly "an outrageous act," promising Russian retaliation. Netizens were deeply amused.

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Russian Sociology Under Assault

RuNet Echo  20 May 2013

Science isn’t safe in Russia today. That, anyway, was Lev Gudkov’s message in a public statement today, announcing that prosecutors in Moscow contacted him five days ago, to issue an official warning that the Levada Center is operating in violation of a recently minted federal law requiring politically-active NGOs receiving funds from abroad to register with the government as foreign agents.

Moscow Soccer Fans Clash with Police

RuNet Echo  19 May 2013

Following Saturday's scoreless soccer game that catapulted Moscow's CSKA club to its fourth Russian Premier League title, the team's fans clashed with riot troops in downtown Moscow. Police detained 140 people [ru], later releasing all but two. Bloggers posted photos to LiveJournal here, here, and here [ru], alleging police brutality.

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Dirty Words Russian Girls Can’t Say on the Internet

RuNet Echo  16 May 2013

Earlier this week, opposition figure Maria Baronova penned an open letter to writer and political dissident Eduard Limonov, wherein she dropped a sexual bombshell. Her text unabashedly refers to “masturbating in the shower” and credits Limonov with teaching her (through his books) how to “suck dick” “without false modesty” and “fuck like an animal.” The online response has been intense.

Ukrainian Blogger's Bobs 2013 Award Revoked

  16 May 2013

Ukrainian blogger Olena Bilozerska's User Winner prize in the Bobs 2013 Best Blog Ukrainian nomination has been revoked, writes [ru] Mustafa Nayyem, the Ukrainian member of the Bobs 2013 jury, on his Facebook page, linking [ru] to the official statement [uk] posted on the Bobs 2013 website. The scandal (more...

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Russia's State-Contracted Revolutionaries

RuNet Echo  14 May 2013

When Vladislav Surkov left the government last week, it triggered an avalanche of speculation about what the loss of “the grey cardinal” means for Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in particular and his “liberal” political clan in general. At the center of an ongoing related police probe is Duma Deputy and anti-Putin protest movement leader Ilya Ponomarev, who earned a surprising $750,000 for his work for the Skolkovo innovation center.

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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