Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from March, 2014
A Schism Over Ukraine in Russian-owned LiveJournal
Igor Bigdan (ibigdan), one of the most popular RuNet bloggers, announced yesterday that he would be leaving his position as Director of LiveJournal Ukraine starting April.
Embattled Opposition Blogger's Insanity Defense?
When attempts to silence Alexey Navalny, Russia's top blogger and anti-corruption activist, don't work quite as planned, it's time to shovel the dirt.
Putin Brings Back Soviet-era Civil Defense Certification
Bringing back "Readiness to Labor and Defense" would "pay homage to [Russia's] national historical traditions."
Top 10 Russian-Language Tweets, Week 13 of 2014
Every Friday, RuNet Echo collects the top ten Russian-language tweets and curates them for Global Voices readers.
‘Anonymous International’ Leaks Kremlin's Instructions to Russian TV
A Russian Internet group called “Anonymous International” has leaked what it claims is a “tyomnik”—a list of prepackaged news stories prepared by the Kremlin for Russia’s central television news stations.
Should Africa Learn From the Crimea Referendum?
“Is Crimea referendum a good model for Africa?” asks Richard Dowden: Africa’s arbitrary borders, mostly drawn by people who had never set foot in the continent, have always been an obvious target for renegotiation. But Africa’s first rulers, who foresaw chaos and disintegration if the nation states were reconfigured, ruled...
The “Happy Voting” Project Encourages Young Europeans to Vote
Drawing on the Pharrell Williams worldwide hit “Happy” and the associated equally renown music video (over 143 million views on YouTube), the Brussels-based film company Full Tunes Production has recently launched on facebook an enthusiastic project called “Happy Voting” that strives to encourage voting for the next European elections. The project...
Creator of Quirky Movement Defends Kremlin Propagandist
Artyom Loskutov, creator of "Monstration", signed a letter in support of odious propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov. Was he right to do so?
Blogging about Russia's Crimea Annexation? You Could Be an Extremist!
Russian lawmakers are toying with the idea of levying extremism charges against bloggers who “incite xenophobic attitudes” when writing about the Crimea.
‘NATO Air – Just Do It’ Meme Opens Old Wounds for Serbia and Kosovo
On the fifteenth anniversary of the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu retweeted a tweet by Kosovo Minister of European Integration Vlora Citaku, causing controversy and angering many.
Russia's Media Crackdown Spills into Academia
Three days ago, MGIMO University fired Professor Andrei Zubov for so-called academic misconduct. His supposed crime was writing an antiwar op-ed criticizing Russia's intervention in Ukraine.
Ukrainians Desperate to Flip the Script on Fascism
Photoshoped swastika is making the rounds on RuNet.
How Russians Are Outsmarting Internet Censorship
RuNet activists have created a sophisticated system of censorship evasion and counter-attack, which can potentially make life hard for both censors and pro-Kremlin websites.
Ukrainian Paramilitary Leader Assassinated, Moscow to Blame?
Over the past several hours rumors spread through the RuNet claiming that Alexander Muzychko, second-in-command to Ukraine's ultra-nationalist "Right Sector" leader Dmytro Yarosh, was gunned down near Rivno.
Putin's Alleged “Ukraine Annexation Plan” Surfaces Online
Katya Gorchinskaya, deputy editor of the newspaper KyivPost, has published on Facebook photographs of a report that journalists are calling "Putin's plan for annexing Ukraine."
A Telethon to Save Russia's Independent TV
Russia’s only independent television station, TV Rain, is on its last leg. Following what appears to have been an orchestrated campaign to rob the channel of its cable and satellite distributors, advertisers have run for the hills and the station is being evicted from its Moscow studio at Red October...
Ukrainian Women's Sex Boycott Against Russian Men
A creative boycott is drawing the attention of Russian Internet users. Ukrainian women are organizing a new campaign called “Don’t give it to a Russian”—a sex embargo against Russian men.
What Is the Future of Russia's News Media?
Now that Moscow has formally annexed Crimea, following a controversial popular referendum, it's possible, if not extremely likely, that Russian journalists will face even greater difficulties.
Hungarian Far-Right Group Protests Against Fashion Designer
A group of far-right extremists occupied the exhibition opening of a Hungarian fashion designer on Friday, Kettős Mérce blog reported [hu]. The designer in question Koby's new fashion line was first withdrawn [hu] from a Hungarian sports brand shop in January 2014, after nationalist criticism rose against the t-shirt designs featuring some of...
Meet Crimea's New Anime Mascot, Natalia Poklonskaya
A definitive fan-art collection of Natalia Poklonskaya, the newly minted Prosecutor General appointed by the secessionist government of Crimea, who has captured the heart of RuNet and Japan.
Suspected Government #SelfieMacedonia Campaign Backfires
A Facebook campaign with the hashtag #SelfieMacedonia was launched in March 2014 and Macedonian social media users now suspect that the country's government is behind it all. Bouts of young social media users from Macedonia, individually or in groups, have been taking photos of themselves, typically called “selfies”, and sharing...