Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from January, 2010
Ukrainians went to the polls on Jan. 17 to choose their president from the 18 candidates running for the post this year. Opposition leader Victor Yanukovich received 35.32% of the vote; prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is in second place, with 25.05%. As neither won 50% of the vote, they face a runoff vote on Feb. 7. Below are some of the reactions from the Ukrainian blogosphere.
Russia's most popular search engine Yandex.ru published [RUS] top 10 search queries in 2009. Those are “New Year”, “Eurovision 2009″, “homework”, “GTA 4″, “High School Diploma exam”, “International Women's Day”, “Long Night of Museums”, “Swine Flu”, “The Sims 3″ and “Defender of the Fatherland Day.”
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Black January, the day when the fledgling independence movement in Azerbaijan was brutally suppressed by Soviet troops ostensibly to curtail inter-ethnic tensions in the capital, Baku. Bloggers in Armenia and Azerbaijan, however, remember the date differently.
Paid bloggers became a topic of a segment [RUS] in a popular Russian TV program “Vesti.” The story depicts mechanism of blog marketing and shows interview with a popular paid blogger in Russia sholademi.
Russian cybersquatter company “Landmark VIP Service” will have to pay $300,000 penalties for illegally taking domain Forbes.ru, forbesrussia.ru reports [RUS] . It is the largest fine for cybersquatting in the history of RuNet.
Reaction of Russian bloggers to the devastating earthquake in Haiti is diverse and sometimes unexpected. The cataclysm provided an opportunity for sorrow, support, contemplation and self-observance.
One of the youngest Russian millionaires Yevgeny Chichvarkin [EN], who escaped Russian authorities and currently resides in London, UK, used his blog [RUS] as a platform for a virtual press conference. This live Q&A session attracted thousands of bloggers.
The recent case of the most popular political online community demonstrated how easy it is to limit free expression on RuNet and revealed the willingness of online audience to defend free speech.
Marietta Le describes preparations for a year as one of the three European Capitals of Culture in Pécs and reviews and translates some of the netizens' reactions.
A recent report [RUS] shows that 23.6 percent of households in Russia use broadband Internet access. Analysts also predict the increase in wireless Internet usage in the country within the next few years.
Russia's largest mobile telecommunication company Mobile Telesystems [ENG] demanded to remove a blog post [RUS] that mocked the company's new ad campaign, adme.ru [RUS] reports. Russian blogosphere is boiling with indignation (here and here ).
LJ user beri_llii published [RUS] details of Irek Murtazin's [ENG] criminal case. Murtazin has been arrested last year on defamation charges when he reported on rumors about the death of Tatarstan president.
Moscow City Deputy Andrey Metelsky proposed amendments [RUS] to the Telecommunication Law that, if passed, would require Russian Internet providers to block gambling Web sites, fontanka.ru reports [RUS]. Bloggers are sceptical [RUS] about these amendments.
Russian Orthodox Church spokesperson Vsevolod Chaplin expressed concerns with “extremist ideas” that spread out on the Internet and called for the limitation of Web anonymity, Securitylab.ru reports [RUS]. The statement provoked heated discussions [RUS] on RuNet.
Today is the day when Poland unites in an enormous charity event called The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, organized for the 18th time by Jurek Owsiak to help children with cancer. This time, however, there has been strong criticism of the initiative's transparency by listeners of Radio Maryja, a Catholic radio station led by Father Rydzyk.
The end of 2009 in Poland was marked with the beginning of a public discussion of on-line privacy, the government's potential attempts to restrict access to websites and a growing awareness of TOR software supporting on-line anonymity. Sylwia Presley reports.
Russian bloggers humorously discuss photos of a little girl [RUS] who for the second year in a row stands and yawns in front of the Russian president during the Christmas service at the Church of the Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
Habrahabr user pechkin1007 published [RUS] photos showing a construction delay at the “Angstrem-M” microchip plant near Moscow. The plant administration received a €815 million government loan [RUS] in 2008 and committed to starting the construction in Autumn 2009.
Russia has indefinitely extended a moratorium on the death penalty that was due to expire on Jan. 1. Numerous comments were posted on RuNet, and they essentially reflect the returns of opinion polls on the death penalty issue.
Tibor Blazko translates Slovak netizens' caustic remarks about the botched security test on a plane to Dublin.
LJ user zyalt reports on “suspicious” fire [RUS] that destroyed a historic country house of the first chairman of Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament. Built more than a century ago, the house hosted many famous Russian writers, artists and politicians.