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· March, 2013

Stories about Russia from March, 2013

Russian Photographer Unearths Ghost Slum

RuNet Echo  30 March 2013

A photo-blogger based in the city of Voronezh, located in central Russia not far from the Ukranian border, has taken a series of striking photographs [ru] (including an animated panorama) of a small, forgotten “slum” hiding in the center of an otherwise modern and populous urban area. The “slum”, which turns...

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As Liberal Russia's Secret Superhero ‘KermlinRussia’ Unmasks, Some See Evil

RuNet Echo  30 March 2013

Arseny Bobrovsky, the owner of a Russian PR firm called “Daily Communications,” would be a thoroughly typical example of Moscow’s “creative class” liberals, were it not for one thing: Bobrovsky has a secret identity. At least he did, anyway, until March 25, 2013, when he and his accomplice Katya Romanovskaya outed themselves to the world as the authors of KermlinRussia, one of the most popular accounts on Russian Twitter.

Russian Anti-Corruption Blogger Appeals to Readers

RuNet Echo  29 March 2013

Alexey Navalny, unofficial protest leader, took to his blog [ru] on March 27 to defend himself from what he says are unfair allegations of corruption. Navalny is currently a suspect in two different embezzlement investigations. One of these, the so-called KirovLes case, involves the supposed use of a shell company to...

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Russians Can't Agree on Billionaire's Suicide

RuNet Echo  27 March 2013

When Alexander Dobrovinsky, lawyer to Russia's rich and famous, announced on his Facebook that Boris Berezovsky, controversial Russian oligarch living as a refugee in London, had committed suicide, RuNet reacted with disbelief.

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Shades of Communism in New Russian Registration Law

RuNet Echo  25 March 2013

On the evening of March 18, 2013 group of around 12 people [ru] unveiled a long black-and-white poster in the Red Square, reading “Go f*ck yourself with your registration”. They set off flares and shouted slogans, among which were “Down with the Chekist government!” and “Putin will be executed!”

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The Criminal Economics of Kremlin Propaganda

RuNet Echo  23 March 2013

Anti-corruption blogger Alexey Navalny is causing more waves at Aeroflot Airlines, where he has called for an internal investigation into a contract worth 64 million rubles awarded without competition to Apostol Media Group.

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Russian Nationalists Rally Behind Subway Shooter

RuNet Echo  22 March 2013

After all, how can one not react with outrage upon learning that Alexandra Lotkova, a pretty, twenty-one year old college student, got three years in prison for using a non-lethal gun to protect herself from knife-wielding thugs, who had already stabbed one of her friends!

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How Russian Villagers Can Terrify the Kremlin

RuNet Echo  21 March 2013

The ploy was simple: Andrei Turinov, a town councilman from Novouspenskii, posted to the Internet an open letter addressing Dmitri Medvedev, declaring the exit of 60 United Russia members from the party. The timing was perfect, and for a brief moment one small village in Krasnoyarsk had the attention of the nation's political elite.

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Propaganda & Mystery in Russia's Browder-Magnitsky Case

RuNet Echo  12 March 2013

Conspiracies are the stuff of Russian politics, and the anarchy of online political discourse makes the RuNet an especially exciting place to watch conspiracy theories unfold. Consider Bill Browder and the late Sergei Magnitsky, the two key figures in a multimillion-dollar tax fraud scam. For years, Russian federal investigators and Browder’s firm have traded accusations about who’s to blame for the theft of 230 million dollars.

The State of Torture in the World in 2013

  10 March 2013

On January 23, 2013, an excerpt from the annual report of l'ACAT-France, A World of Torture 2013, makes a fresh assessment of the state of torture in the world [fr]: “A report called A World of Torture in 2013, assesses torture practices that continue to be alarming, from Pakistan to...

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How Using Twitter Can End Your Political Campaign in Russia

RuNet Echo  9 March 2013

Earlier this week, a judge in Krasnodar disqualified a politician running for city council, after determining that his campaign materials infringed on copyrights of three popular Internet social networks: Twitter, Facebook, and Vkontakte. What exactly was this man’s crime? He ran a black-and-white newspaper advertisement that included the three websites’ logos.

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Facebook Instigates Another Russian Media Scandal

RuNet Echo  6 March 2013

Earlier today, Yuri Saprykin, announced that Gazeta.ru’s editors have removed Maria Tsybulskaya from the newspaper’s video-interviews project, because her interview with Saprykin included off-limits political questions about the criminal cases surrounding last May’s violent protest at Bolotnaia Square, and Putin’s declining support in national polls.

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Russia's Public Petitions: By the People, But for Whom?

RuNet Echo  6 March 2013

Yesterday, on March 4, Vladimir Putin signed an executive order regarding the creation of a government petitions online platform, which will allow Russian citizens to create and vote on various policy issues at the federal, regional, and local levels. The website, which is scheduled to go live for federal petitions in April 2013 and regional and local issues in November 2013, will be called the “Russian Public Initiative.”

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Why Do Russia's Newsmen Keep Quitting?

RuNet Echo  5 March 2013

Two editors-in-chief lost their positions on March 4, 2013: Mikhail Kotov left one of Russia's biggest online newspapers, Gazeta.ru, while Alexey Vorobiev is no longer the head of the Kommersant FM, a Kommersant affiliated radio station with a heavy online presence.

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Doubt & Clan Politics in Russian Cyberspace

RuNet Echo  3 March 2013

The turbulence of the 1990s seems to have returned to Russia, despite a political culture built on the expectation that Vladimir Putin keeps such chaos at bay. What role can netizens play in a Russia with an increasingly fragmented ruling elite?

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Ukraine's Roads: An Endangered Species

  2 March 2013

This winter, Ukraine's roads look as if they've been hit by hundreds of small meteors. The public outrage over the appalling state of the roads has temporarily stolen the social media spotlight from other important political events taking place in Ukraine.

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