Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from May, 2012
Lithuania: Alleged Child Abuse Case
At OpenDemocracy.net, Violeta Davoliūtė draws attention to “some of the more sober realities of life in today’s Lithuania,” highlighting a highly publicised case of alleged child abuse that is “being played out against a background of mob rule, support from politicians and complicity on the part of the police.”
Serbia: May 6 Elections Results
Eric Gordy of East Ethnia sums up the results of the first round of the elections in Serbia and predicts what is to come after the May 20 runoff: “Assuming that Tadić defeats Nikolić by his usual narrow margin in two weeks, a government that looks a lot like the...
Russia: Yavlinsky Stir Reveals Opposition Rift
True to Yabloko's troubled past and present, Yavlinksy's May 10 blog post criticizing protest escalations has upset many and pleased relatively few. Current developments in the opposition have widened the gap between populist dramatics and nuts-and-bolts politics.
Europe: Economic Crisis Fuels Rise in Anti-Immigration Politics
The French presidential election may be over, but the fact that outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy chose immigration as the core theme of his campaign is still the subject of much debate on the Web. Many netizens have wondered whether his choice to flirt with the far-right wing of his party helped temper his defeat or whether, on the contrary, it was one of the reasons his electorate deserted him.
Russia: Ustream.tv Attacked Over Russian Blogger
On May 9, unknown parties launched a DDoS attack on the live feed website Ustream.tv. The attack was carried out from thousands of unique IPs based in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Iran, and was centered on one particular user, reggamortis1, who for the past four days has been covering opposition rallies and protests in Moscow.
Russia: Charity Crowdfunding
There is no lack of successful 'people' projects, financed by private philanthropy. While much activity exists only in cyberspace, the effects of charitable organizations' work is quite tangible and real, and confidence in these groups is undiminished. The proof: the Tugeza ("Together") community
Russia: Putin's Return Rouses Online Polemics
In the wake of protests against Vladimir Putin's inauguration, the reactions of Russian bloggers demonstrate a wide spectrum of opinion online. That oppositionist activism has suddenly taken on a more radical tone has only further inflamed the passions of already polemicized observers.
Hungary: “Oligarch” is the New Buzzword of the Hungarian Net
József Ángyán, the former Hungarian State Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development, resigned in January and since then has been trying to draw attention to the shady relations between the government and some Hungarian 'oligarchs'. It's a sensitive issue, and he is facing retaliation of the powers others had also tried to call into account.
Macedonia: Protest Announced in Support of Environmental Activist on Trial
Greenbox blog reported [mk] that the Green Coalition and NGO Lenka would hold a protest in front of Veles court on May 9, 2012, at 11:30 AM, before the start of the trial of the environmental activist Igor Smilev, who has been accused of endangering security & defamation by the...
Russia: Open Hostility in Moscow Surrounding Putin's Inauguration
Both civilians and those charged with keeping order in the city displayed open hostility on May 6 when protesters took to the streets of Moscow in anticipation of Vladimir Putin's inauguration. Donna Welles reports.
Russia: Violence Plunges Opposition into Debate About Tactics
Yesterday, the Russian opposition's mass protests against Vladimir Putin for the first time produced mass violence. Dozens of protesters and police officers alike reported injuries, with several on each side requiring hospitalization. Why did yesterday's rally at Bolotnaia Square, the site of two previous peaceful demonstrations, end with blood spilled and Muscovites brawling?
Russia: Surprise Resignations Threaten New Governor Elections
On April 25, the Russian Duma passed a law that restored direct elections of federal governors, reversing a policy of direct presidential appointments. A few days later, Medvedev accepted the resignations of two governors, leading to fears that the Kremlin is reneging on promises to loosen its grip on central power.
Serbia: Monitoring the Elections Via Citizen Media
Rayna Stamboliyska reports on the May 6 elections in Serbia and the online monitoring initiatives that have been set up recently to ensure the transparency of the election process.
Russia: Varlamov's Failure in Omsk
Ilya Varlamov, the Moscow photographer and popular blogger whom an online primary nominated last month to run for mayor of Omsk, has ended his election campaign. Varlamov provoked a serious rift between the Russian opposition's supporters and opponents of 'blogger politicians' when he entered the race, and that debate has only grown more heated now that he's out.
Russia: Tolstoy's ‘War and Peace’ Legacy Today
RuNet Echo continues its series examining the 200th anniversary of Tsarist Russia's Victory over Napoleon by examining Leo Tolstoy's novel 'War and Peace' and the role it plays today online. On the RuNet, discussions about 'War and Peace' and Tolstoy's literary style are common, addressing a variety of issues both linguistic and social.
Global Voices in Bulgarian Lauded on World Press Freedom Day
Global Voices in Bulgarian was lauded by the Bulgarian section of the Association of European Journalists as the April 2012 winners of “Excellence in Citizen Journalism” for bringing unheard international news to Bulgaria, and proving that citizen journalism also exists at a highly professional level. The announcement (in Bulgarian) was...
Russia: Crowdsourcing to Solve Local Urban Problems
Solving problems at the local level, the kind encountered by inhabitants of big cities and regional centers, is becoming more and more feasible thanks to projects based on crowdsourcing technology. Crowdsourcing is getting groups of people involved in the discussion and resolution of all sorts of different problems, ranging from firefighting to election-monitoring.
Ukraine: “If Prison Acquires a Voice, Everything Will Change”
The documentary about Kyiv's Lukyanivska prison, which has caused much outrage and debate in Ukraine in the past month, is now translated into English and available with subtitles on YouTube.