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· February, 2017

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from February, 2017

Daughter of Slain Russian Opposition Leader Writes Him a Letter Two Years Later

On the second anniversary of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov's assassination, Zhanna Nemtsova published a letter to her late father on Facebook.

911 for Donbass: Meet the App That Will Keep Ukrainians Updated About Military Attacks

"Active Citizen" will inform users about military attacks in seconds and, the app's creators hope, help reduce casualties among civilians in the war-torn regions of eastern Ukraine.

She’s Still in School, But This Slovenian Journalist Just Took Down a High-Powered State Official

Journalist Lea Majcen is an overnight celebrity in Slovenia, after stumping government official Tilen Smolnikar with basic interview questions about his work as head of the country's renewable energy sector.

St. Petersburg Stands up for St. Isaac's Cathedral

Despite a variation of the blood libel against protest organizers and pressure from authorities to stand down, St. Petersburg activists continue to stand up for St. Isaac's Cathedral.

Macedonia’s Ruling Party Is Draining Civil Society Groups’ Time—and Money

Ruling partly leaders are calling for the "de-Sorosization" of Macedonian civil society, arguing that the country's civil sector should rely on the Macedonian government for financial support.

Russian Government Youth Group Wants to Make Wikipedia More Patriotic

A clumsy new campaign called “Virtual Front” is coming to Russia next month, led by a government youth group that aims to make Wikipedia’s Russian edition more “truthful and patriotic.”

‘Pro-Russia’ Label Hounds Bulgaria's New President

"The whole theory that Radev is pro-Russia comes from his appeal to the EU to withdraw the sanctions against Moscow."

Russia's Censor Suddenly Wants to Know More About Channels on Telegram

With help from a Putin-launched political movement, Russia's federal censor met on Tuesday behind closed doors with the authors of several popular Telegram channels. And nobody knows why.

The Strange Death of Russia's Closest Alliance

Almost three years ago, President Alexander Lukashenko suddenly realized that his country's weak sense of national identity was a serious problem. It's been odd times for Belarus ever since.

Twitter Walks a Fine Line in Russia

Why does Twitter comply with Kremlin requests to censor Tweets inside Russia? It's complicated.

Whale-Themed ‘Suicide Groups’ Present Opportunity for Internet Crackdown in Central Asia

Despite no clear link to actual suicides in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, authorities are dreaming up restrictions.

Controversial ‘Crashing Airplane’ Advertisement Stirs Serbian Presidential Elections Debate

"No one in political history has released a [campaign ad] showing he's ready to take citizens to their deaths if they don't do his bidding."

Belgrade Mayor’s Ex-Wife Reignites Political Scandal With Bombshell Interview

The ex-wife of Belgrade's mayor gave a bombshell interview this week, making waves across Serbia, implicating her former husband in a political firestorm.

What It's Like to Drive for Uber in Russia

Last month, writing for the popular news site TJournal, Denis Gavrilov interviewed several Uber drivers in Russia, learning about their work, their habits, and of course their passengers.

Mystery Oil-Like Substance Pollutes Macedonia and Albania's Lake Ohrid

It's just one of a long list of threats to Europe's oldest lake that are putting its World Heritage designation in jeopardy.

Online Documentary Tells Stories of Adolescent Mothers From Bulgaria

"Often, they are given no chance of making their life choice themselves and they are left in the closed loop of illiteracy, un-employment, and poverty."

Bulgaria's New President Vetoes Law That Would Have ‘Opened a Door to Corruption’

"The extension of the time limit to indefinite is a way to privatize services, rights and functions, which society guarantees to its citizens and therefore they are not for sale!"

Russian Censor's Warning to Radio Station Raises Alarm, Briefly

Alarm about another crackdown on Russian media spread quickly—and briefly—yesterday, when news broke that the state media censor had warned radio station Ekho Moskvy that it could be shut down.

Travel Blogger Faces Eight Years in Azerbaijan Prison Over Nagorno-Karabakh Visits and Posts

One blogger, three passports and the intricate international relations of the Caucasus region. This gets pretty complicated.

Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Watchdog Catches MPs Casting Multiple Votes, Again

Knopkodavstvo, or button pushing, as the tactic is known, has plagued voting in Ukraine's parliament for years.

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