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· February, 2015

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from February, 2015

28 February 2015

Macedonian Girl Dies Awaiting Grand Opening of Medical Center

Independent media sources have alleged that authorities intervened in the girl’s case because they wanted to open the new medical center and showcase the child as their first successful case.

Russian Opposition Politician Boris Nemtsov Shot and Killed in Moscow

RuNet Echo

Boris Nemtsov, a prominent Russian opposition politician and one of Vladimir Putin's top critics, has been shot and killed in Moscow.

26 February 2015

How I Helped Get Zoja's Law Approved By Serbia's Parliament

The Bridge

Vuk Visnjic is too young to vote. But when politicians in Serbia's National Assembly ignored a law that would help sick children, he found a way to make a difference.

Anonymous Twitter Account Blows the Whistle on Wounded from Ukraine in Russian Military Hospital

RuNet Echo

An anonymous account on Twitter claiming to be a Russian soldier at a military hospital in Russia is providing undercover reports on the wounded brought from the frontlines in Ukraine.

Police Raid the Lesbians Who Trolled Russia's Leading Anti-Gay Politician

RuNet Echo

Being gay is dangerous business in Russia, but it’s especially risky when you troll the country’s leading opponent of gay rights.

25 February 2015

Russian Lawmakers Propose Banning Women Under 40 from Smoking

RuNet Echo

“Female smoking,” the legislation’s explanatory note says, “harms the body’s reproductive system, causing irreparable damage to the genetic stock of the nation.”

Belarus Bans Tor and Other Anonymizers

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

Belarus is banning anonymizers, typically used to circumvent government censorship and reach online resources banned inside the country, including many of the opposition websites.

Remembering Ukraine's ‘Heavenly Hundred’

"It's dangerous and frightening, and today one must be [in the east], like one had to be in Kyiv a year ago. Maidan has moved. It's now at the frontline."

‘Ministry of Truth’ Recruits Ukrainians for ‘Internet Army’

RuNet Echo

Ukrainian Ministry of Information Policy has launched a website to recruit Ukrainian social media users for a government-run "Internet Army."

Here Is What You Can Do in Kyiv if You Have One Dollar

RuNet Echo

What can a dollar buy you in Kyiv, Ukraine? Quite a few things, actually! An enterprising social media user collected the most interesting ideas in a blog post.

24 February 2015

The Dress Rehearsal for the Belarusian Crackdown

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

"Belaruskaya Pravda" chief editor Yuri Dubina says the recent crackdown in Belarus on independent online media is only "the dress rehearsal" before the presidential election this November.

23 February 2015

The Stale Catch in Croatia's “Fresh Start” Debt Erasure Program

The Bridge

Croatia's government has received praise for its decision to wipe the debt of its poorest citizens. But will this "Fresh Start" really help Croatians?

22 February 2015

High Hopes and Mixed Feelings About Russia's Oscar Nominee

RuNet Echo

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s film "Leviathan" has been a critical darling abroad and a key Oscars contender, but in Russia, it has generated a polarizing national discussion.

20 February 2015

Meet Russia's New Activists, the Anti-Maidan Movement

RuNet Echo

When Moscow witnessed mass protests in the winter of 2011-2012, organizations like Nashi and Young Guard exerted little or no influence on events. Will Anti-Maidan be different?

19 February 2015

Twitter Chatter About Putin and Poroshenko: The Language Breakdown

RuNet Echo

Tweets in Russian account for over half of the 6,342,294 tweets in our dataset. English, Spanish, Ukrainian, and French are the other common languages in tweets about Putin and Poroshenko.

18 February 2015

The Russian Military Commander Allegedly Leading Ukraine's Separatists

RuNet Echo

OSCE photos on Twitter indicate Lentsov was about 35 miles from Debaltseve on February 16, where he met with separatists in an official capacity as head of the Russian Representation.

Slovakia's ‘Batman’ Is Leading the Fight Against Illegal Advertising in Bratislava

The entrepreneur, husband and father is on a mission to destroy unlicensed makeshift billboards in the city of Bratislava, which has become cluttered with outdoor advertisements.

Trolling Russia's Hearts and Minds

RuNet Echo

Last week, users of the image-board 2ch.hk launched a campaign to test Russians’ gullibility, when it comes to information about the Donbas separatists’ “fallen heroes.”

16 February 2015

Ukrainian MP Pushes for Carbon Copy Of Russian Blogger Law, Meets Resistance

RuNet Echo

A member of the Ukrainian parliament suggested bloggers in Ukraine should be required to verify information in their posts and disclose their personal data to the authorities.

13 February 2015

Russia Says You Can't Mention Ukrainian Nationalists, Unless You Say They're Bad

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

One permitted way to mention such organizations it to do so "in a negative light, ascribing them characteristics like 'radical,' 'extremist,' or 'nationalist.'"

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