Stories about Russia from June, 2013
Russians Celebrate Number One Political Prisoner's Birthday
Nearly 10 years after his arrest and conviction, Russian society remains largely apathetic about Khodorkovsky. Those who do care are divided about both his guilt and its consequences.
Russian NGOs Learn to Invest in Paper Shredders
At 3AM, last Saturday, Russian riot police and private security raided the offices of one of the country's oldest human rights organizations. Those inside, including the group's leader, Lev Ponomarev, were forcibly evicted from the premises. Later, allegations arose that the group was involved in certain "unpatriotic" activities.
Environmental Issues Drive Russians to Demand More of Their Leaders?
Over the last year, “Save Khoper” has held a series of protests to bring attention to a cause against a mining project outside Voronezh. On June 22, the latest demonstration turned violent, after a splinter group of protestors set fire to two drill rigs and other geological survey equipment.
The Kremlin's Kitchen Serves Up Russia's Free Press
Novaya Gazeta has implicated Vladimir Putin’s favorite restaurant owner in a bizarre scheme to defame several of the country’s most prominent news publications, involving a conspiracy to plant false information in different newspapers, in order to convince Russians that the news is for hire.
Russia’s Bid For International Prestige: A White Elephant?
As Putin continues to pursue his policy of using international events like the Winter Olympics to show that Russia is worthy of investment, the country's taxpayers are coming to realize that they are the ones footing the bill.
Russians See Themselves in Turkish Protests
As Turkish protests continue, Russians draw parallels between events in Turkey and their own protest movement and hard-line political leader.
Vladimir Putin: Lord of the (Super Bowl) Rings
Did Vladimir Putin steal New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft's Super Bowl ring when they met in 2005? Many Russian bloggers are asking that very question, after Kraft claimed in a June 14, 2013, New York Post interview that he had in fact not given the ring as a gift.
Orphaned in US, SOPA Finds Home in Russia
America’s controversial Stop Online Piracy Act is back—and it’s poised to become law in a matter of weeks. SOPA, however, isn’t coming to the US, where a wide coalition defeated the legislation in January 2012. A law that creates similarly harsh penalties for online copyright violations is on the cusp of finding a home in Russia.
More Violence for Russia's Gays, Supporters
These days supporting LGBT rights in Russia can earn you a trip to the hospital.
Russia's Commodification of Political Prisoners
Russia’s blogosphere comments on the unexpected release from prison of businessman Alexey Kozlov.
PRISM Infects Russia with Cyberwar Scare
Since last week, when the world learned about PRISM, Russian state officials have expressed renewed concerns about foreign social networks posing a national security threat. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin recently told reporters that websites like Facebook and Twitter are elements of a larger American campaign against Russia.
Russia Eyes Another Orphan Experiment
Pavel Astakhov's idea of sending Russia's highly-politicized orphans to the restive North Caucasian Republics as a kind of social "experiment" was overwhelmingly condemned by netizens of all political stripes.
“Give-a-Tree.rf”—Russia's Collective Reforestation Project
In a recent interview with Evgeny Voropai of Social Technologies Greenhouse, Sergey Skorobogadov, head of "Podari-Derevo.rf" (Give-a-Tree.rf) explained how a socially-conscious project can bring a profit and how quantitative indicators can stimulate activity in people.
Pavel Durov, Founder of Russia's #1 Social Network, Is Not Going to Prison (For Now)
It looks like Pavel Durov can finally return to Russia without a prison sentence threatening from overhead. That seems to be the case, now that Petersburg detectives have closed their inquiry into Durov's alleged involvement in an April 5 traffic accident that forced "Russia's Zuckerberg" to flee the country two months ago.
Putin Loses His First Lady & RuNet Snarks
A three-person TV crew from Russia 24 standing in an empty Kremlin hallway, the black-suited reporter with her arms awkwardly crossed—that was the initial audience to Vladimir Putin’s announcement today, that he and his wife Lyudmila have split.
Russians & Cigarettes: A Hard Goodbye
The Russian government aims to end Russia's love affair with cigarettes, and a new law passed June 1 will ban smoking in a wide array of public spaces, paving the way to even stricter regulations in the future. Not everyone in the Russian blogosphere, however, is happy about it.
The Moscow Mayoral Election Will Test Russia's Internet Culture
With Sergey Sobyanin's surprising announcement that he is calling for snap mayoral elections in Moscow this September, the city's urban Internet-connected class will be put to the test of real world political mobilization.
All Hail Russia's Heroic Cop-Killers?
A group of unknown assailants is killing police officers in Rostov. Authorities have linked the same stolen weapons to the slayings of 5 officers, in attacks that resemble a wave of cop-killings from 2008 and 2009 that claimed 12 lives. The criminals’ tactics have led many to compare them to the infamous Primorsky Partisans, a self-declared "guerilla group" that terrorized the police of Russia’s Far East in early 2010.
Is the Russian Opposition Playing a Losing Hand?
Blogger, professional poker player, and municipal deputy Maxim Katz has left the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition. Has the Russian opposition's e-democracy experiment failed?