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· January, 2015

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from January, 2015

Grindr in the Kremlin: Gay and Online in Putin's Russia

Russia's "balanced" anti-homosexual legislation has turned the Internet from a safe haven into a battleground in Kremlin’s assault on the Russian LGBT community.

How Putin Secretly Conquered Russia's Social Media Over the Past 3 Years

In a special column for RuNet Echo, TV Rain's online chief editor, Ilya Klishin, discusses the Kremlin's slow but steady capture of online social media in Russia.

Russian Politician Tells Public to ‘Eat Less,’ As Food Prices Rise

“If you’re short on money,” Gaffner said, “just remember that we’re all Russian citizens. We just need to give some thought to our health and eat a bit less.”

America's Digital Diplomacy in Russia After Michael McFaul

McFaul's commentary spanned both his professional and personal life, and he was not afraid to engage with his online audience, even when that meant fighting a "Twitter war."

Georgians Show Solidarity after Family is Massacred in Armenia

Joseph Smith documented a Facebook-organized event held in Georgia in support of Armenia, currently suffering following the massacre of a family by a Russian soldier near a Kremlin military installation.

Antarctic Misadventure Sparks Scandal for Russian MPs

When two Duma deputies set off to plant the Russian flag atop the highest mountain in Antartica, they probably did't expect their trip would spark a political scandal.

Civil Liberties vs. Terrorism: What Are We Willing to Give Up?

European Union Interior Ministers are considering measures to combat terrorism in the region, which many have branded as draconian.

Kremlin-Owned Internet Search Engine Filters Out ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Results

Earlier today, Russian Internet users discovered that Sputnik.ru returns almost no image-search results for “Charlie Hebdo” (in Latin script or Cyrillic), whatever one’s “moderation” settings.

Croatia Makes History With First Woman President, But Her Politics Worry Some Voters

Croatia is deeply divided politically. Kolinda Grabar Kitarović managed a narrow win over incumbent President Ivo Jospović in the runoff in January 2015 with 50.74% of the votes.

What Snow Can Tell You About Russia's Local Politics

Russia is notorious for having a weak civil society and an oppressive government, but that reputation isn't equally deserved throughout the country.

ISIS Claim Their Kazakh Children Are Murdering Russian Spies [UPDATED]

Radical group ISIS released footage today of what it says is a Kazakh child assassinating two agents of Russia's Federal Security Service. Should we believe it?

Pro-Russian Forces in Eastern Ukraine Apparently Fire on Another Civilian Vessel by Accident

This is not the first time separatists have boasted of an attack online, quickly followed by an assertion that the attack was actually carried out by the Ukrainians.

What Do Twitter Users in Ukraine and Russia Say About Their Presidents? An Introduction

RuNet Echo collaborates with MITH to investigate how Russian and Ukrainian Twitter users talk about their presidents—Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko.

Intel Shuts Down Its Russian-Language Developer Forums

Intel's decision could create an important precedent, showing how easily new RuNet regulations spill into seemingly innocuous blogging activities.

How #EuroMaidan and War with Russia Have Changed Ukraine's Internet

Global Voices takes a look at how #EuroMaidan and Russia's interventions in Crimea and the Donbas have changed Internet use in Ukraine.

Russia Investigates VKontakte User for Posting Ukraine-Related Content

Russian authorities are investigating a Yekaterinburg woman on charges of "inciting hatred and violence" for posting links to content about Ukrainian Euromaidan protests on the social network VKontakte.

Meet Russia's 369 Kremlin-Registered Bloggers

What are the websites that populate Russia’s blogger registry, which is supposedly the Kremlin’s handpicked collection of the nation’s most read web pages?

A Look Back at ‘Eastern Ukraine Unfiltered’

With hindsight, the title of this interview series is a bit of a misnomer. The truth is, of course, that everyone has a filter.

Alexey Navalny's ‘Risk-Free’ Rebellion

Lawyer Murad Musaev claims Navalny’s portrayal of his house arrest is “based more on emotions than legal norms."

Eastern Ukraine Unfiltered, By the Numbers

RuNet Echo has interviewed and profiled 12 bloggers, citizen journalists, and social media users in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Here's how that breaks down.

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