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Putin’s New “Blogger Law” Explained

Putin has just signed new laws requiring individual bloggers to register their identity with the government, among other restrictions on internet freedom and privacy. Bloggers will now be treated as “media outlets” and be subject to similar regulations, vague guidelines and severe punishments. This is your five-minute explainer, with information culled from several English and Russian-language […]

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Russia’s New Laws Can “Block” Any Social Media Site for Anyone’s “Extremist” Post

Four domains were blocked by Russian ISPs this weekend, including LiveJournal.com. According to new amendments signed into law by President Putin on January 30th and enacted on February 1st, access to websites can be temporarily blocked for any singular reported post containing “extremist information threatening society and individuals” under the orders of Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for […]

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Inside Ukraine’s Fortified Protest City: Barbed-Wired Barricades and Free Borscht

After weeks of civil unrest in Kiev, the fiery combat in the occupied streets and the storming of police stations and government buildings, the protestors seem to be winning. The prime minister of Ukraine resigned today. The government has repealed most of the tyrannical new laws on freedom of speech and assembly. The heavily criticized President Yanukovych […]

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Inside Kiev’s War Zone: Catapult 2, Recon Units, Fireworks and Water

Ilya Varlamov, an independent photojournalist we’ve been following for years, finally arrived in Kiev last night. He posted photos on his LiveJournal, along with a no-frills account of what it is actually like inside. Here are some highlights, translated. For the last four days, Kiev is a war zone, constantly erupting in combat and flames. As […]

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Drunk Russian Soldiers Attack Lonely LGBT Rights Protestor, Fight Cops

Today is Russian Airborne Troops Day, an annual military pride celebration which traditionally involves gaggles of soldiers spilling into public square for merriment, flag waving, wallowing in public fountains and miscellaneous public drunkenness. This year, they have a new hobby. If anyone has any confusion about what Russia’s recently-adopted anti-gay laws do to its public, let me […]

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Anti-Gay Bill Passes in Moscow: Protestors Beaten by Cops, Christian Extremists and Kids

As Russian government just hit a new low in its systematic persecution of Russian LGBT citizens, Moscovites just hit a new low in its violent homophobia. The State Duma passed a notorious bill today that would punish any person or media company making information about the gay, bisexual and transgender community accessible to minors. That means […]

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Occupy Kremlin: Protest Camps in ’90s USSR

As Soviet Union let out its dying breath, there were massive hoards of angry, hungry citizens pitching tents in Moscow, right at the Kremlin walls. In 1990, these protestors lived in makeshift cities for six months. They questioned their government as it rattled apart. Their signs called for justice, answers, logic… FOOD. But doesn’t it sound familiar? Long […]

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Giant Pussy Riot Statue Is The Best Anti-Putin Protest Mascot Ever

As 50,000 protestors marched through the streets of Moscow just hours ago protesting Putin’s usurpation of the proverbial Russian throne, this group carried a giant wooden colorful ski mask. All hail Pussy Riot! Even Ad Rock’s hailing Pussy Riot tonight at Permanent Wave’sbenefit show in Williamsburg. Right before the march took place, the homes of […]

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Your Five-Minute Primer to Tomorrow’s Totally Corrupt Russian Election

Here’s a joke my Russian landlord told me: “Mr. Putin, we have some bad news. Your opponent has 75% of the votes! The good news? You got 76%!” Badum tish.  In Russia, Vladimir Putin’s shirtless, horseback-riding prime minister schtick isn’t so funny. Tomorrow, it’s all but certain he’ll be elected president for a third time — officially commemorating the […]

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