Stories about Russia from December, 2012
On December 26th, 2012 the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of Parliament, upheld a controversial new law banning adoptions of Russian children by Americans. The unanimous vote throws into stark contrast the failure of the prolific online campaign against the law.
As billions of people across the world awoke today to open gifts and be with their families, three of Russian Duma Deputy Sergei Zhelezniak's four daughters rolled out of bed to find that intimate photographs from their social network accounts had been published in a muckraking attack on their father. Navalny's decision to target Zhelezniak's children has split the RuNet into camps of supporters and critics.
A slight majority of Russian internet users support the ban on adoptions by Americans. 50% do not understand the motivation for international adoptions, and 60% think that such adoptions endanger children. Who are these people, and what are they saying?
Anonymity affords ordinarily timid individuals the courage and opportunity to behave dishonestly. That, anyway, is the story we typically hear, especially in the context of the Internet. As Oleg Kashin recently pointed out in his column [ru] at openspace.ru, however, it takes two to make a successful prank (the prankster and the sucker)—a...
That the world failed to come to an end today, "21-12-2012," must come as a relief to many Russian bloggers who have spent the past several weeks obsessing over the coming apocalypse prophesied by the Mayans. Of course, as with many things, Russia's take on Armageddon had its own peculiarities.
Rasul Mirzaev, a 26-year-old mixed martial arts world champion from Dagestan, is a convicted killer. His victim was a 19-year-old Russian man, Ivan Agafonov, whom he murdered in a scuffle outside a nightclub in August 2011. On November 27, 2012, a Moscow court let him walk free, after a little more than a year in custody. The RuNet has responded with often vehement emotion.
RuNet Echo contributor Donna Welles compiles [en] netizen reactions to President Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly (ru, en), highlighting which passages best resonated with bloggers and how they interpreted and understood his latest initiatives.
On December 12, filmmakers halted the online publication of one of Russia's most curious documentary efforts: "Srok" ("The Term"), a video project hosted on YouTube and LiveJournal, chronicling and capturing the events of the opposition movement. The project's suspension came after federal investigators searched the home of one of its directors.
Their rally at the FSB Headquarters banned, opposition leaders suggest protesters take a "walk" to the center of Moscow. Was their refusal to accept offers of other venues a mistake?
It has now been more than a month since the blacklist of the Russian Internet went live. One Russian ISP has decided to have its own say in the matter.
Kononenko is widely considered to be one of the RuNet’s pioneers, and has worked as a publicist, a columnist, a programmer, and a television host, among other things. He is a self-described "liberal," though his political positions place him squarely outside the Russian opposition.
Just like last winter, Russia's opposition leaders are involved in negotiations with Moscow city authorities to determine where an upcoming rally will take place. This time, however, they are asking their online electorate to pitch in.
As her conflict with authorities came to a head last week, Aksana Panova, editor-in-chief of the embattled Yekaterinburg internet news agency URA.ru, said her last goodbyes on behalf of the website in a Facebook post.
Yesterday, The New Times published a retrospective on last winter's mass protests, highlighting how the Internet played a vital role in mobilizing thousands of people in a city that, until then, could only produce a few hundred demonstrators at a time. The middle class, the youth, and the technophiles of Moscow had awakened and the possibilities seemed endless. Then came the schism.
LiveJournal, owned and managed by Russian company SUP Media, just announced [ru] a grant program that will target the development of “interesting, but less well known blogs.” The grant funds could be used by a starting blogger to promote their blog through various paid “promo” services run by the company.