Stories about Russia from September, 2010
Russian online users celebrate Internet Day in the country on September 30. This day also traditionally marks the start of the voting process for the best Internet project in the country that will be determined by the most amount of votes by the second half of November.
Alexey Sidorenko analyzes the five main groups of the Russian transparency projects: official and semi-official transparency websites; chaotic transparency communities; online representation of civil activism NGOs; next-generation transparency and civil rights activism social networks; and Ushahidi-based projects.
The Russian Internet is presented, especially in some Western media, as being one of the few democratic forums in the country. However, these reports should be taken with a grain of salt, as it is still unclear just how much of Internet freedom the government is willing to tolerate.
Via Dr Sean's Diary, “a series of maps of Europe mapping the (supposed) prejudices of various nations […] and, for some reason, also of gay men” by “Bulgarian visual artist, graphic designer and illustrator Yanko Tsvetkov.” Also, “What European Tribes Think About One Another” – at eXile.ru; a similar map...
Today, the main topic of all discussions in the RuNet is the dismissal of Yuri Luzhkov, mayor of Moscow. While some bloggers (1 [RUS], 2 [RUS]) consider it a victory of the opposition, others say, nothing had changed [RUS] – mayor's team is on it's place. Zyalt posts [RUS] pictures...
A Good Treaty interviews Donald Newholm of Pig With The Face Of A Boy about the band's popular song, “A Complete History of the Soviet Union As Told By A Humble Worker, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris” (the YouTube video to this song has been viewed over 500,000 times).
Robert Amsterdam's blog links to an investigative report by Gregory Feifer and Brian Whitmore, published in the New Republic (full text available to subscribers only, however), which examines “Russia's ambitious nuclear diplomacy and foreign policy with the Czech Republic.”
FP's Passport writes about the 2007 Russian-Syrian missile agreement and the Israeli efforts “to dissuade the Russians on fulfilling their contract.”
More on the history of the Pavlovsk Experiment Station – at Vaviblog.
Derek of The Kalpak travels for four and a half days on a Russian train – and arrives in Moscow.
Notes on the sacking of Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov: before (The Moscow Diaries and FP's Passport) and after (A Good Treaty, The Russia Monitor, Robert Amsterdam, Russia! and Windows to Russia).
Poemless posts a follow-up to her earlier entry about the contemporary Russian literature available in English.
Streetwise Professor recommends Dmitry Sidorov's new blog at Forbes – The Putin State Chronicles – which provides “some great examples of the natural/mafia state in action.”
On her blog and in a Moscow News column, Natalia Antonova writes about the search for Liza Fomkina and her aunt, who went missing in a town near Moscow on Sept. 13, and whose bodies were found last week: “According to RIA Novosti, the main search and rescue efforts were...
A Good Treaty writes about and translates Sergei Shnurov's “Khimki Forest” song, “an obvious satire of liberal-leaning musicians prone to activist art.”
Russian General Prosecutor's Office registered [RUS] a Twitter-account @genproc [RUS]. Previously [RUS], Federal Anti-monopoly Service got @rus_fas [RUS] account. While more than 20 high [RUS] Russian officials already started tweeting, country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is sceptical about the new media which it considers an “information weapon.”
Blogger pilgrim-67 sarcastically comments [RUS] on Alexander Lukashenko's decision not to start a blog [RUS]: “That's a pity. I would be excited to read about Belarus cows and gaz wars in his blog […] I think his blog would be more lively than Medvedev's.”
Reactions to the Sept. 11 New York Times’ story about Microsoft and raids on advocacy groups by the Russian security services – at Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog, Streetwise Professor, and Robert Amsterdam's Blog.
Vaviblog draws attention to the campaign to save Russian botanist Nikolai Vavilov's Pavlovsk seed bank from destruction.
Streetwise Professor writes about the ongoing inquiry into the April 10 plane crash that killed the Polish president and 95 others, reporting this, among other things: “Most peculiarly, the air traffic controller who was in charge when the plane crashed ‘retired’ three days after the crash, and Russian authorities claim...
At The Huffington Post, Simon Shuster urges PM Putin to ask himself where President Medvedev got “such chutzpah”: “[Medvedev] is seen as having his own agenda for reforms, independent and vaguely appealing, a westernizer, you see, like a fun-sized Peter the Great.”