Stories about Russia from April, 2010
Robert Amsterdam writes about Ramzan Kadyrov's alleged involvement in the 2009 murder of Umar Israilov in Vienna, and links to C.J. Chivers’ New York Times investigative piece, whose opening paragraph has reminded him of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a collection of Vietnam War short stories.
Vadim Nikitin of Foreign Policy Association's Russia blog reviews the reactions to Nikita Mikhalkov's Burnt by the Sun 2, “Russia’s most expensive movie.”
A Good Treaty comments – here and here – on the sex video scandals involving members of the Russian opposition, notes an increase in blog traffic (“nothing brings visitors to a website like the promise of nudity”), and responds to Julia Ioffe‘s Foreign Policy piece on the scandal.
Below is some of the Anglophone blog commentary on the ratification of the Ukrainian-Russian gas-for-fleet deal, which took place in a chaotic environment on April 27 in Kyiv. Among other things, security guards were forced to employ two umbrellas to shelter the parliament speaker from the eggs hurled at him by opposition members.
Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs plans to make addition to the law “On Information” allowing Russian authorities to block an access to around 2,000 Web sites with extremist, pirated and pornographic content, Russian information agency “New region” reported.
236 Ukrainian MPs (UKR) have voted in favor of the ratification of an agreement allowing the Russian Black Sea Fleet to extend its stay in Crimea until 2042. Ukrainska Pravda posts a selection of photos and video (UKR) of fighting and egg-throwing inside the parliament building this morning. On Twitter,...
Leopolis comments – here and here – on the gas/Black Sea Fleet lease extension deal signed by the Russian and Ukrainian presidents on April 21.
Steve Bandera of Kyiv Scoop writes about Andrzej Wajda’s 2007 film Katyń, which has been shown twice in Russia in the past few weeks (reactions from the Russian blogosphere are here) – and comments that the truth about the massacre is “only coming out now in the former Soviet Union...
A Good Treaty posts a YouTube video of a Moscow driver's encounter with a high-ranking official's BMW and explains why “the special road status of the elite is a sore point with the Russian public.” (A few more related links in Russian are here.)
A Good Treaty reviews shortcomings and advantages of the newly-signed US-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), as perceived by various political groups in the United States and Russia.
Profy writes about the soon-to-be-launched official Twitter account of the Russian president – and the recently suspended fake one: “The thing is that this Twitter account misbehaved on the day of last week’s terrorist bombings in Moscow: a comment was published that looked very much like the first official comment...
Lena Osipova of Global Chaos argues that RT, Russia's first all-digital English-language TV network, “not only does not promote Russia's credibility, but undercuts it further.”
Eugene Ivanov of The Ivanov Report believes that the US-Russian “‘reset’ needs a charger, and the pro-Russian lobby should play the role of this charger.”
Natalia Antonova writes about the case of a 7-year-old adopted Russian boy, who was sent back from the United States alone on a plane to Russia by his adoptive mother: “Hansen acted out her supposed desperation in a dehumanizing and humiliating fashion. This adopted child had hurt her, and so...
Russia authorities started inspection of the country's major social network Vkontakte.ru, rbcdaily.ru reported. The authorities claim the social network became popular with neo-Nazi, xenophobic and extremist groups. But the inspection can also be an attempt to extract users’ private data.
Yandex.ru published report [RUS, .pdf] on Internet development in Russian regions. Report concludes that the drastic increase in Internet penetration during 2009 was in Russian regions. The average speed of the Internet there is 1,100 kbs. The most active bloggers are in the Far East.
The Little Blue Buckets mock protest, initiated (RUS) by LJ user cook, took place in Moscow Sunday, as drivers fitted their cars with blue plastic buckets (siniye vedyorki) to protest the impunity of state officials who routinely use blue flashing lights (migalki) on their vehicles to violate traffic rules and...
Two days passed since Mother Nature showed its power to mankind letting the Icelandic volcano with unpronounceable name “Eyjafjallajökull” fill the European aerospace with ashes. As the ash cloud went east, more and more airports were closing, which led to European-wide transport collapse. Russian bloggers – also affected by the...
Giorgi Kvelashvili of Jamestown Foundation Blog writes that the fake news broadcast aired by a Georgian TV channel on March 15 did not contain mentions of Lech Kaczynski's death in a plane crash – even though some recent Russian media reports claim otherwise.
Russian magazine “Ogonyok” published an interview with Andrey Podshibyakin, a former executive editor of Livejournal. Podshibyakin tells about his new book “Po-zhivomu: 1999-2009. Livejournal in Russia.” The book covers a decade in the history of this popular blogging platform in Russia.
Russian daily Vedomosti reports [RUS] that Facebook is going to open its office in Moscow and develop cooperation with local cellular companies. So far, most Russians have been using local social networking platforms (e.g., Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki, Moy Mir). The article's translation is published [ENG] in The Moscow Times.