The summer of 2010 turned out to be a tragic one for Russia. Following several weeks of unusual heat, wildfires began to spread in western Russia. More than one hundred villages were destroyed by the fires, at least 50 people died, and thousands were left homeless. Moscow was covered by a thick smog for many days.
Russian blogs and social media became a major source of independent information, and bloggers helped demonstrate that Russian citizens are capable of matching government efforts to manage relief efforts. They organized several citizen coordination centers, deployed volunteer teams, and collected food, medicine and clothing for those who had lost their homes.
Global Voices’ RuNet Echo observed the citizen media reaction and also took part in creating “Help Map”, a crowd-sourcing platform based on Ushahidi mapping software to connect those needing help with those offering it.
Global Voices RuNet Echo stories about the wildfires:
08 Sep – Russia: Bloggers Clash With the Ruling Party
06 Sep – Russia: Reactions to the “Buckwheat Panic”
30 Aug – Russia: Online Cooperation as an Alternative for Government?
20 Aug – Russia: Wildfire Victims Sorry They Fought For Their Houses
20 Aug – Russia: Bloggers Expose Death Rate Increase
18 Aug – Russia: Anglophone Bloggers Discuss Social and Political Aspects of the Wildfires
10 Aug – Russian-Fires.ru, First Ushahidi Experience
06 Aug – Russia: Fires, Rynda and Putin Create Internet Meme
03 Aug – Russia: Crowdsourcing assistance for victims of wildfires
01 Aug- Russia: Towns and Villages on Fire
Global Voices links to other blogs:
10 Aug – Russia: Do Authorities Conceal Rate of Death Caused by Smog?
09 Aug – Russia: Wildfire News Website Suspected to Be Attacked
05 Aug – Russia: Pro-Kremlin Youth Movements Allegedly Forge Photos
03 Aug – Russia: Pictures of Village Destroyed by Wild Fires
02 Aug – Russia: Ushahidi-based Project to Help Victims of Severe Fires
Key Resources and bloggers:
- Prep the Tinfoil: Four Hoaxes Shaping Ukraine-Russia Conflict
- 15 Memes That Escalate the Crimean Crisis
- Russia's Chief Propagandist Vacations in Europe as War Looms
- Russia's Fight on Oscar Night
- Mother Russia, Jump the Gun
- Ukraine's Activists Debunk Russian Myths on Crimea
- A Chronology of International Violations by Russian Troops in Ukraine
- Russia PM Medvedev's Facebook Post on Ukraine
- Ukrainians, Russians on Social Networks: ‘In Case of War, Everyone Will Lose!’
- Sentiment Analysis of Russian Tweets about War in Crimea