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· February, 2009

Stories about Russia from February, 2009

Armenia: Nationalist agitation in Georgia

  23 February 2009

Writing on the new Frontline Club blog, Global Voices Online's Caucasus Regional Editor reports on plans to hold a demonstration outside the Georgian Embassy in Yerevan, Armenia. The blog says that local nationalists with the possible backing of Moscow might be seeking to destabilize Armenia's northern neighbor.

Russia: Politkovskaya Murder Trial Acquittals

  23 February 2009

Oleg Kozlovsky, Irina Filatova, Foreign Policy Association's Russia blog, and Window on Eurasia write about the “not guilty” verdict for the three men charged with being involved in the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Russia: Endangered Languages

  23 February 2009

Window on Eurasia writes that, according to UNESCO, “19 languages spoken on the territory of the Russian Federation a half century ago have ceased to exist, and 117 more are either in a position UN experts say is “unsafe” (21 languages), “definitely endangered” (47), “severely endangered” (29), or “critically endangered”...

Russia: Cherkizovsky Market in Moscow

  23 February 2009

Moscow Through Brown Eyes writes about an article (RUS) on Moscow's Cherkizovsky Market that appeared in the latest issue of Bolshoi Gorod: “Each of these bewilderingly diverse stories could be the subject of its own article, if not an entire book. Taken together, however, these portraits add up to something...

Azerbaijan: News site closed down?

  21 February 2009

Following a recent ban on foreign broadcasts in the country, the content of a leading news site considered more independent than most in Azerbaijan was replaced on Thursday with a message informing readers that the “project is closed.” Although the authorities denied any involvement with the site's disappearance, bloggers were not convinced.

Georgia-Russia: Information War

  19 February 2009

Writing for the Frontline Club blog, Al Jazeera's Matthew Collin comments on a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists which criticizes both Russia and Georgia of exerting control over the media. In particular, the blog says that coverage of the August war over South Ossetia in both countries...

Georgia: Eurovision Controversy

  19 February 2009

Following its recent war with Russia, Georgia had initially planned to boycott this year's Eurovision Song Contest to be staged in Moscow, but later changed its mind. However, if reversing that decision might have initially seemed an attempt to repair damaged relations, yesterday's national song contest proved otherwise. Eurovision bloggers react.

Russia: Valentine's Day Politics

  18 February 2009

Window on Eurasia writes: “Like the Russian Orthodox Church, politically active young Russians increasingly view Valentine’s Day as something alien to their country’s national traditions and refuse to have anything to do with it, yet another measure of the extent to which Russians are turning away from many things they...

Former Soviet Union: The Legacy of Afghanistan

  18 February 2009

Window on Eurasia writes that across the former Soviet Union, “a debate is raging between those who believe the Soviet intervention [in Afghanistan] led to the demise of the Soviet Union and those who are convinced that the decision to withdraw [20 years ago] had precisely that effect.”

Russia, EU: “Policy-Media Interaction” and Blogging

  18 February 2009

Vilhelm Konnander posts his reflections on Russia-focused blogging and “policy-media interaction”: “So, by the end of the day, there is little room for deviance as the public policy-media discourse evolves. When one, to the contrary, gets one's message across, there is no saying how it will be processed by its...

Russia: Russian National Library

  18 February 2009

Eagle and the Bear writes about what it's like to be doing research at the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg: “The security at the library is as tight as a supermax prison, the rules for visiting are just as strict, and the staff is about as friendly as a...

Georgia: Eurovision Pop Protest

  17 February 2009

Writing for the new Frontline Club blog, Matthew Collin says that Georgia might use this this year's Eurovision international song contest to be held in Moscow to poke fun at its foe in last year's short lived August war with an entry entitled “Put-In Disco.”

Japan: Hetalia Axis Powers and the limits of parody

  17 February 2009

Hetalia, a satirical manga set mainly during the Second World War and featuring national protagonists of that era, has attracted attention among both domestic and international audiences for its caricature of world nations. In this post, read reactions in translation from bloggers in both Japan, where the manga originated, and in Italy, the country most strongly ridiculed.

Russia: Yandex, Anonymity, “Oligarchs”

  17 February 2009

A few updates from IZO: “Yandex (acronym apparently of Yet ANother inDEXer), which is way ahead of Google in Russian search, is opening an office in Silicon Valley”; Ministry of Internal Affairs demands “an end to anonymity on the internet”; Russian organized crime in Israel; and what awaits “most of...

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