How long until Putin bans Echo of Moscow, Russia’s last bastion of free speech, from the airwaves?

How long until Putin bans Echo of Moscow, Russia’s last bastion of free speech, from the airwaves?

Sergei Buntman, deputy editor of opposition-friendly radio station Echo of Moscow, gives us an insight into how long outlets like his have in Russia until they are shut down. Almost exactly 25 years ago, the Law on the Press came into force in the USSR, establishing freedom of speech, banning censorship and allowing independent media outlets to be formed in Russia and other Soviet Republics. Glasnost, the freedom of speech, was arguably

Russian Media Exaggerate Ukrainian Election Violations

Russian media falsely reported that the 2015 Ukrainian local elections saw a record number of violations. They cited the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, a non-governmental organization that had registered violations during the last Ukrainian elections, as their source. This news was reported by the Russian television network NTV, the Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, and the zavtra.ru and EurAsia Daily websites. The Committee of Voters of Ukraine, however, did

Want to Research the Russian Internet But Don’t Speak Russian? We Can Help.

This article is part of a larger guidebook by RuNet Echo to help people learn how to conduct open-source research on the Russian Internet. Explore the complete guidebook at the special project page. Conducting open-source research can be difficult, and it’s even more challenging when you cannot read or write in the language of your research topic. Thanks to the Internet, however, even these obstacles don’t make it impossible for people

Photo Fake: New Zealand Library Passed off as Moscow Library

On October 29, social networks posted a fake photo of what was presented as the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow. The real library was raided by armed and masked police early the same day, and its director was arrested for allegedly promoting illegal anti-Russian propaganda. Some reports included a photo of a ravaged library with its books strewn across the floor. However, this photo taken of a library in

How to Find Information on Facebook. Part 2

Our previous article about Facebook searches discussed how to use the Graph Search tool and what useful information can be retrieved with its help. But when working with Graph Search, some problems may appear: for example, at times it does not process search requests or does not recognize Cyrillic script. Graph Search became reliable at the end of December, 2014, when Facebook dropped its partnership with Bing. The search algorithm

Russian lawmakers reportedly consider adding ISIS to list of “undesirable” NGOs

The Russian government has a formal list of what it calls “undesirable organizations.” Any group on this list is said to threaten the country’s “basic constitutional order, its defense capability, or its state security.” When an organization becomes “undesirable,” it’s forced to shut down all operations in Russia, and its employees face criminal charges, if they don’t find new jobs. The heads of these organizations can go to prison for

Ukraine Ban on Russian Symbols Fuels Fight Over National Identity

A young policeman knocked on Ivan M. Papchenko’s front door one recent afternoon, brandishing a complaint from the National Memory Institute of Ukraine and demanding to know why this village had resurrected Lenin. Semyonovka stood accused of being a “de-communization” scofflaw. Mr. Papchenko, the local Communist Party chief, refused to concede that anything was remotely amiss. The Lenin statue, he said, was long gone from the town’s Red Square. The

Russia conceals its military casualties as part of propaganda war

In the four weeks since Russia entered the conflict in Syria, Moscow has waged a fierce campaign for the hearts and minds of ordinary Russians. Public support for the Syria intervention was initially limited. But as Russian war correspondents have filed patriotic reports from the urban front lines, and the defense ministry has posted bombing videos on social media, support has increased, according to polls from Levada Center, an independent

Sweden eyeing Nato help in propaganda wars

Sweden is considering joining a Nato centre for strategic communication to boost its expertise in fighting propaganda wars in the social media world, said its defence minister on Monday. Sweden’s Nordic neighbour Finland is already a member of StratCom, Nato’s Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, which has researched cyber warfare since 2014. Based in Latvia, its main focus has been on Russia, which has been accused of carrying out social

Fake: Ukrainians to Participate in Syrian War

Russian and pro-Russian media have been falsely reporting that Ukrainian citizens will be trained to take part in Syria’s civil war. They have based this information solely on a forged document. On October 21, the separatist website News Front posted an alleged scan of an official document from Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. It states that the Council decided on October 13 (though the document itself is dated October

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