In Ukraine, not only heroes deserve justice; A Ukrainian blogger sentenced for his scandalous views on the conflict in the Donbas has just been released. Whatever his shortcomings, Ruslan Kotsaba deserved our solidarity.

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(OpenDemocracy – opendemocracy.net – Maxim Edwards and Thomas Rowley – July 17, 2016) Maxim Edwards is Commissioning Editor at oDR. Tom Rowley is Lead Editor at oDR. He is currently finishing a PhD on Soviet dissent at the University of Cambridge. Last Thursday, Ruslan Kotsaba addressed journalists in a west Ukrainian courthouse, tears running down his face. “This is a […]

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Ukrainian blogger gets long sentence for expressing contentious views

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Human Rights in Ukraine – khpg.org – Halya Coynash – May 13, 2016) Ruslan Kotsaba, a controversial Ivano-Frankivsk journalist and blogger, has been sentenced to three and a half years’ imprisonment. The Ivano-Frankivsk City Court found the journalist, who has been in detention for 14 months guilty of obstructing the legitimate activities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces over a video […]

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NEWSLINK TASS: “Russian blogger stands trial on charges of insulting believers’ religious feelings”

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Law Requiring Bloggers to Register as Mass Media Comes Into Force

File Photo of Little Girl at Computer Next to Globe

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – August 1, 2014) A law requiring popular bloggers to register as mass media took effect Friday, tightening government control over the country’s influential online voices but leaving some uncertainty as to how strict the immediate scrutiny will become. In accordance with the new law, any blog that receives more than 3,000 hits […]

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Russian Internet ‘One Step Away’ From Chinese Firewall

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 29, 2014) Amid growing criticism of its increasingly tighter regulation of the Internet, Russia’s official media watchdog on Monday vowed to continue its fight in the “information war,” saying freedom of speech “does not mean everything is permitted.” The government made clear at an annual meeting of top officials of the […]

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Russian Internet twitters with talk of Ukraine

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Fefelova, special to RBTH – April 21, 2014) Russian bloggers and politicians use social media to discuss the conflict in the Donbass. While Russian state television is giving one perspective on the events in Eastern Ukraine, politicians and opposition bloggers alike have been expressing different views online. Konstantin Dolgov, the Special Representative […]

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New Russian media trend: Journalism without intermediaries

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – November 12, 2013) A growing number of Russian journalists are writing on the Internet to reach their readers directly, without intermediaries in the shape of investors, publishers or editors. While this mode of professional existence has not generated large financial dividends so far, it has given them editorial independence. […]

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Medvedev proposes that bloggers be involved in information security sphere

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(Interfax – PYATIGORSK, August 19, 2013) People, who are constantly working in the information technology sphere, bloggers included, should be involved in developments in the sphere of information security, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “We must be ready to protect ourselves in case of any attack against our country or our interests. In my point of view, it is […]

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Blogs begin to play a prominent political role

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lyudmila Nazdracheva, special to RBTH – August 19, 2013) Bloggers have become a fixture on Russia’s political scene. Almost every governor, mayor or party official has a blog these days, though few have more than a thousand followers. RBTH takes a look at successful virtual political diaries and the real people behind them. […]

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The Audacity Of Navalny

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – August 8, 2013) There’s just no escaping Aleksei Navalny. Whether one thinks he’s Russia’s greatest hope, or the most dangerous man in Russia, he is absolutely dominating the conversation right now. The ruling United Russia party is complaining about his online fundraising, as is Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Television personality Ksenia Sobchak is worried about his aggressive […]

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Putin Questions Jail Term for Opposition Leader Navalny

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 2, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that a recent real jail term for his vehement opponent Alexei Navalny was “strange,” given that another defendant in the case got away with a suspended sentence. Whistleblowing blogger Navalny was given five years in jail last month on embezzlement charges that he dismissed as fabricated by […]

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American witness: Blogging Russian life

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – July 29, 2013) For Oklahoma native Jennifer Eremeeva, what started as a childhood fascination turned her into a guide of Russian life. Eremeeva’s settlement in Moscow began in 1993 in a rather exotic location, an apartment she shared with her future husband in the neighborhood of Butovo, beyond today’s Moscow Ring Road. […]

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Navalny: Out of the frying pan, into the Moscow mayoral race

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Kristen Blyth – July 22, 2013) Even for Muscovites who aren’t very much into politics, the September mayoral elections are about to get interesting. The surprising five-year sentence for opposition candidate Alexei Navalny – and the equally shocking decision to free him the very next day pending appeal – has both exacerbated political […]

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Interfax: Prime Minister Medvedev is best known blogger of Russia – poll

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(Interfax – July 19, 2013) Seventy percent of Russians have heard the “blogger” word but 29 percent do not know what it means, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said in the presentation of a poll conducted in 42 regions on July 6-7. A third of the respondents (33 percent) could name some of the Russian bloggers. Twenty percent […]

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Navalny Verdict Dominates Russian News, Social Networks

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, July 18, 2013) ­ Russian public figures and foreign diplomats on Thursday weighed in on the five-year jail sentence handed down to anti-Kremlin activist Alexei Navalny, with opinions ranging from grim pessimism among liberals and “disappointment” from the U.S. ambassador to mixed forecasts by economic analysts and claims of a fair trial by pro-Kremlin pundits. – […]

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Navalny’s sentence to lead to outflow of young lawyers, businessmen from Russia – Prokhorov

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 18, 2013) The sentence of opposition activist Alexei Navalny is affecting the interests of small and middle-sized businesses and will lead to the outflow of young lawyers and businessmen from Russia, leader of the Civil Platform party Mikhail Prokhorov said. “The sentence passed on Alexei Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov is not just a sentence to the […]

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Interfax: Presidential Human Rights Council to conduct independent analysis of Navalny case – Fedotov

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 18, 2013) The Russian presidential Human Rights Council will conduct an independent public analysis of the criminal case in which a Kirov court sentenced opposition activist Alexei Navalny to five years in prison on Thursday. “I have already talked with a number of Council members. I believe the Council will decide to arrange a public legal […]

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Russia – making bloggers ‘law-abiding’?

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief, July 15, 2013) The latest legislative initiative from the State Duma would award popular blogs the status of media outlets. I am using the word “award” somewhat ironically here. United Russia Deputy Sergei Zheleznyak, who saw himself and his family attacked in the blogosphere after it was revealed that his daughters […]

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Prison or presidency for ‘Russia’s Kennedy’? [re: Navalny]

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(opendemocracy.net – Ekaterina Loushnikov – May 25, 2013) Ekaterina Loushnikova is radio and print journalist based in the city of Kirov Charismatic opposition leader Aleksey Navalny is on trial in the provincial capital of Kirov, 900km from Moscow. He is controversially accused of stealing timber worth 16 million roubles in 2009; if found guilty, he will spend his next few […]

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Witness in Navalny Trial Backs Prosecutors’ Allegations

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – May 16, 2013) A witness in the trial on large-scale embezzlement charges against opposition blogger Alexei Navalny testified Thursday that the defendant had offered a disadvantageous contract to a state company that he is accused of defrauding. Larisa Bastrygina, deputy director of KirovLes, told the Leninsky District Court in Kirov that Navalny, […]

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Navalny’s Taunts Led to ‘Speedy’ Investigation

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 15. 2013) Days before the much-anticipated trial of opposition leader Alexei Navalny is scheduled to begin, an Investigative Committee spokesman has suggested that Navalny’s constant criticism of the government caused investigators to “accelerate” work on the case against him. When someone “uses all his energy to bring attention to himself” and “provokes the government,” […]

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