Russia

Popular blogger prompts thousands of Russians to clean their city

 
To many Russians, the concept of not littering and recycling waste is totally as foreign as green cheese. After years of environmental neglect by the government and piles of trash littering every streetcorner, a growing number of citizens have decided that they’ve had enough. Using the Internet as a mobilisation tool, they have resolved to clean the country’s streets, parks and rivers. Read more…
 
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Whistleblower officer says Russian troops served dog food

 
A whistleblower in Russia’s security force has released photos and videos of what he says are cans of dog food disguised as beef stew, which were allegedly fed to Interior Ministry troops earlier this year. Read more and watch the videos…
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Russian youths invent absurd way to by-pass demonstration ban

 
Staging a political demonstration is a particularly difficult feat in Russia where authorities tend to find any number of reasons to ban protests from taking place. As a result, young Russians have come up with an off-beat way to get around the demonstration ban: they stage ‘monstrations’ instead. Read more…
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Russia gets its first real-life superhero

 
The Russian Web is abuzz with talk about the country’s first real-life superhero: Mstitel (Avenger in Russian), a masked crime-fighter from the south-western Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Real vigilante, or online hoax? Read more…

Russians suspicious over Putin’s 2014 Olympic mascot pick

 
An Internet outcry followed the announcement of the 2014 Winter Olympic mascots in Sochi, Russia, after a selection process that has left the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin mired in allegations of political meddling. Many in Russia’s blogosphere question the legitimacy of the results after Putin’s unpopular pick won first place. Read more...
 
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Activists’ banner at Kremlin says Putin, not Khodorkovsky, should be in jail

 
A banner draped by Russian activists directly in front of Moscow’s Red Square, called on Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin to swap places with jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The stunt, which took place several weeks ago, captured the imagination of Russia’s blogosphere in a country where freedom of expression is severely restricted. Read more...

Amateur footage of the Moscow airport bombing

 
An explosion ripped through the international arrivals hall at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Monday, killing 35 people and wounding more than 100 others. Russian authorities say the blast was caused by a terrorist attack. Once again, social media proved the fastest source of photos and images from the immediate aftermath of the blast.  Warning: Disturbing content...
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Saint-Petersburg's killer icicles

 
As Europe’s northernmost city, you would think Saint Petersburg would be prepared to face the hazards of winter. But for the past two years, residents have been left to deal with dangerous giant icicles practically on their own. Read more and see the videos…  
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Rope jumping: even better than Russian roulette

Young Russians have found a new way to add a little spice to their life: rope jumping. This unauthorised extreme sport is not unlike bungee jumping, except for two significant details: you don’t jump in an open, natural space, but off a city rooftop. And you don’t use an elastic cord, but a mountain climbing rope. Read more and watch the videos...

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What’s it like living in the coldest city in the world?

 For the people in Yakutsk, Siberia, where the temperature last week week fell to -47°C, icy floors and frost bite are just a part of daily life. But the rigors of winter don't stop the city from functionning: shops are open, buses run, even children play in the park.  Read our Observer's account and see the photos...
 

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