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· December, 2016

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from December, 2016

Russia's Five Most Memorable Censorship Moments of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, RuNet Echo looks back at the five most controversial, infamous, and even ironic actions this year by Russia's federal censors.

There Were Many Bright Spots to Be Found Amid the Doom and Gloom of 2016

Here's a list of 41 Global Voices stories about the strength and creativity of the human spirit, proving that 2016 wasn't an annus horribilis through and through.

The 2016 Russian Words of the Year, Explained

Like many words in Russian, the 2016 words of the year can be explained but not quite translated.

‘The Long Arms of the Kremlin?': Kazakh Man Goes to Prison for Insulting Vladimir Putin on Facebook

With traditional media in the country heavily restricted, social media is an obvious forum for information warfare between the Kazakh nationalists and ethnic Russians.

Macedonia's Pollution Is So Bad That Activists Have Installed ‘Mountain Air Breathing Booths’ in Protest

Other unhappy citizens have resorted to parody. A piece of graffiti recently circulated on Twitter pokes fun a government inaction: "Recommendation: Don't die from cancer!"

Russia's Top Ten Memes in 2016

In the spirit of 2016, RuNet Echo risks spoiling everything in an effort to make sense of Russia's hottest Internet memes over the past year.

For a Limited Time, Croatians Get Free Access to a Digital Library of 100,000 Books

Not in Croatia? The Croatia Reads app also offers people outside the country Croatian books free of charge.

American Hockey Through Ukrainian Eyes: ‘Like Interrupted Sex’

A young Ukrainian man visits the wild world of American hockey, where he was treated to a show he didn’t expect (or entirely enjoy).

Ex-Yugoslavs Mourn Vesna Vulović, Flight Attendant Who Survived Highest Ever Fall Without a Parachute

"Vesna Vulović survived a fall from 10,000 meters, but could not survive the year of 2016. :("

Serbian Government Backtracks on Russia-Inspired Anti-Abortion Council

"You know the consequence of prohibition of abortion? Profit for the clinics in neighboring countries, and semi-skilled butchers playing with the lives of the poor."

When They Censored Messaging Apps on Election Day, Montenegrin Regulators ‘Acted Legally’

Political oppositionists and prominent members of the country's civil society say the government's crackdown on social media harmed Montenegro's freedom of expression at a time when it was most needed.

Investigative Journalists Reveal Accumulated Wealth of Serbian Politicians

The revelations, compiled by investigative journalism network KRIK, are generating lively debate online and within traditional media.

Netizen Report: Threats on Civil Society Reach New Heights in Macedonia, Egypt

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Morbid Propaganda in Macedonia Takes Aim at Western Ambassadors

"The xenophobia has terrible consequences, doesn't it? Therefore, please stop spreading it!"

Macedonia's Ruling Party Lashes Out at Civil Society After Contested Elections

Flyers naming civil society members (so-called “traitors”) were distributed in the mailboxes and under windshield wipers throughout the capital, Skopje. Others were targeted on social media.

Russian Ambassador to Turkey's Assassination: A Bullet from Aleppo?

A Russian opposition politician fires a rare volley of dissent regarding his country's involvement in the war in Syria.

Kazakh TV Channel Famed for Fake News in Hot Water after Fake Interview

The interview with a self-promoting Kazakh news presenter that never happened was quickly disowned by the purported interviewer.

Spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry Accuses Facebook of Working With ISIS

Maria Zakharova, the colorful spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, accused Facebook administrators of working for the Islamic State, after the network temporarily unpublished one of her posts on Monday.

Educators Respond to Plans to Expand Orthodox Education in Russian Schools

The proposed course was designed to replace the existing religion curriculum entirely, leaving parents without control over their children’s religious education.

Syrian Women Thank Russian Soldiers in New Sexy Calendar Funded by the Kremlin

Thanks to Kremlin grants, there's now a glossy calendar featuring a dozen beautiful Syrian women, posing beside flirty captions that praise Moscow’s armed intervention in the Middle East.

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