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· February, 2016

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from February, 2016

Hungary’s Teachers Are Mad As Hell and They’re Not Taking It Anymore

Dissatisfaction with the declining state of Hungarian education has been brewing for years and has culminated in a protest by 30,000 people in Budapest.

This Writer and Activist Wants to Rescue the West's Knowledge of Russia, One Translation at a Time

Translator Thomas Campbell tries to bridge the gap through his blog. Last week, he visited NYU, where he described the experience of running his website and monitoring the Russian blogosphere.

Abandoned Shoes Protest Calls Attention to Macedonia's Massive Emigration Problem

"The scene was sad. We only have short time to make things better, to keep our youth here. To make everybody understand: We deserve better."

Serbia's Ombudsman Wants a Belgrade Police Chief Fired for Obstructing Journalists

“There was an unlawful use of force, there were threats...Many bad things were done,”

It's Halftime in Russia

With oil prices tumbling and Russia’s economy on hard times, a carmaker is falling back on one of the industry’s most dependable marketing tactics: appealing to consumers’ sense of patriotism.

The Next Time You're in Moscow, Don't Bother Trying the Shawarma

Moscow awoke earlier this week to find that the city has a new face. Before dawn on February 9, the mayor's office tore down roughly a hundred small businesses.

Kremlin Censor Finally Brings Down the Hammer on the RuNet’s Pluckiest Freedom Advocates

Government censors have blocked the website of Russian digital rights organization RosKomSvoboda for a page with instructions on how to circumvent online censorship and access blocked websites.

Netizen Report: The EU Wrestles With Facebook Over Privacy

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

Macedonia's Former Prime Minister Threatens Revenge in Troubling Speech

"There are no hidden messages in Gruevski’s speech. He presented all of his views in the manner of a fierce populist, who will not hesitate in his quest for power"

Ukrainian Artist Kseniya Simonova Shows Kazakhstan Through the Sands of Time

Kseniya Simonova shot to fame as a 'sand animator' after winning Ukraine's Got Talent in 2009.

Artists and Activists Unite in Support of Russia’s ‘Good People’

“I wish I could go to the detention center and sing, so the whole thing came down,” Anastasia said, describing her “ elven-princess” wish to free her imprisoned partner.

Ukrainian Censor's ‘Explicit Content’ Database Is Up for Grabs

Ukraine's now extinct National Expert Commission for Protection of Public Morality accumulated a database of "explicit" content during its tenure—and no one knows what to do with it.

Twitter-Based Doodling Community Inspires Creativity Across Eastern and Central Europe

Dozens of artists and amateurs take part in a Twitter-based drawing initiative every week with the aim of bringing more fun and art to the Internet.

Why Is a Russian Art Museum Granting Free Admission to Women Wearing 4-Inch Stilettos?

The music video has 32 million views in just three weeks. Even for one of Russia’s most popular rock bands, Leningrad’s new song stands out as an exceptionally popular hit.

ISPs Take Kremlin to Court Over Online Surveillance

“We’ve found a couple of brave providers that are ready to come with us on a crusade against SORM,” announced Leonid Volkov, co-founder of the Society for Defending the Internet.

Russian Social Network VK Claims to Protect Users From Warrantless Surveillance

VKontakte's Ukrainian spokesperson says the social network abhors censorship and only shares user data with secret services when presented with court orders. The website's turbulent history paints a different picture.

Russia and Chile Join the Global Campaign to Save a Saudi Poet From Execution

Poets and activists in Moscow and St Petersburg expressed their solidarity with Ashraf Fayadh, who's been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. Similar events were held in Chile and Mexico.

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