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Stories about Eastern & Central Europe

1 September 2015

On the Ground in Russia's Only Free Election This September

RuNet Echo

Olga Borisova, a volunteer for the democratic opposition in Russia's only open regional contest this fall, talks about working in Russian elections today.

27 August 2015

An Indigenous Reindeer Herder Takes on Oil Giants in Siberia

Sergey Kechimov faces two years in prison, accused of threatening to kill two oil workers. He is one of the last Khanty people living near the 'sacred' Imlor Lake.

26 August 2015

This Is What Happened When a Ukrainian Film Director Was Sentenced to 20 Years in a Russian Prison

RuNet Echo

When Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in a high-security Russian prison on terrorism charges, Russian and Ukrainian Internet users were less than pleased.

24 August 2015

Did Russia's Biggest Search Engine Censor Itself to Protect Putin's Spokesman?

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

Vladimir Putin's spokesman is back in the news, after Internet users discovered this weekend that Yandex, the country’s most popular search engine, might be censoring itself to protect him.

22 August 2015

Did Wikipedia Just Outsmart Russia's Internet Blacklist?

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

Wikipedia is trying something new in the fight against Russian censorship, and it might actually work.

20 August 2015

That's the Last Time This Cafe Owner Messes with a Supermodel's Autistic Sister

RuNet Echo

What happened when a cafe owner tried to eject from his business a 27-year-old customer named Oksana, diagnosed with autism and cerebral palsy, saying she was scaring away customers?

19 August 2015

Russia Blocks Euronews ISIS Video Over ‘Extremist’ User Comment

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

Russian censors have blocked another YouTube video, although it did not violate any Russian laws. Instead, an offending user comment under the video caused Roscomnadzor to ban the page wholesale.

17 August 2015

The Bold and the Uniformed: How New Ukrainian Police Are Taking Over Social Media

RuNet Echo

Ukrainian capital Kyiv has recently revamped its police force in an attempt to improve law enforcement's reputation, and the fresh new officers are taking social media by storm.

Russian Censors Falsify Evidence Against Newspaper to Uphold Ban on Political Coverage

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

Last weekend, in an appeals case by one newspaper against the government, state censors finally revealed specifically why they banned several news stories last year about a protest in Siberia.

16 August 2015

Serbian State Utility Company to Spend 350,000 Euros on Logo Redesign

Serbian social media users are curious: "Does this logo vacuum clean and bear children or what?"

13 August 2015

Croatians React to Alleged ISIS Beheading of Tomislav Salopek

Social media users in Croatia, Egypt, and worldwide react to the alleged beheading of a Croatian expat in Egypt by ISIS.

11 August 2015

Eat Your Heart Out, Boston Tea Party. This Is How Russia Destroys Food.

RuNet Echo

RuNet Echo collects some of the most poignant jokes and statements from Russian-language Twitter about Russia's new war on banned Western food imports.

10 August 2015

Pro-Russian Web Network Digs Up the Dirt on Kremlin Critics

RuNet Echo

Some of the sites in the pro-Kremlin network aim to attack Ukrainian politicians and Russian opposition figures by way of "personal dossiers" and alleged "dirt" dug up on the individuals.

9 August 2015

Why Are Japanese Airsoft Fans Cosplaying the Ukrainian Military?

RuNet Echo

Japan and Ukraine are miles apart. Why are Japanese airsoft players dressing as Ukrainian military and modeling their game scenarios after anti-terrorist operations in eastern Ukraine?

8 August 2015

Russia's Democratic Coalition Is On The Ropes

RuNet Echo

The Democratic Coalition has recently been barred from various regional elections this September, as its grand ambitions have collided full force with the harsh reality of politics in Putin's Russia.

7 August 2015

Russia Hacks the Military Again (Its Own)

RuNet Echo

Russian hackers Anonymous International are shaming the country's Defense Ministry for poor information security practices by leaking sensitive documents that were allegedly sent via free email services.

6 August 2015

Russian Internet, Say Hello to Barbra Streisand

RuNet Echo

We look at four prominent examples of the Streisand effect on the RuNet, when banned articles, shut-down websites, and pirated movies exploded online not unlike Streisand's Malibu mansion in 2003.

5 August 2015

Russia's ‘Draconian’ Internet Laws Mostly Ignored By Industry Experts

RuNet Echo

Russian Internet laws have been called "draconian" and accused of limiting free speech. But a recent study found that Russian online industry and experts actually know little about these regulations.

2 August 2015

Selfie Empowerment: Russian Communists Want Your Lenin Selfies

RuNet Echo

Young Russian Communists want to make Lenin hip again—so they're proposing a flashmob campaign that involves taking selfies with Lenin statues.

Russia's Mustachioed Corruption

RuNet Echo

A day after Putin's press secretary wed, Russia’s most famous anti-corruption activist has published evidence that Dmitry Peskov wears a wristwatch worth at least $620,000.

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