Posts by Transitions Online

Unprecedented communications monitoring set for Sochi Olympics

Oct 8, 2013

Two Russian investigative reporters have uncovered plans for extensive monitoring of electronic communications during next February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Guardian reports. Read More »

The Moscow Mayor’s mischievous viral marketing

Throughout the Moscow mayor’s race, Alexey Navalny’s campaign has taken a beating from all sides on questions about financing, nationalism, and even transparency. Read More »

Azerbaijani gets jail for dissing bank as corrupt on Facebook

Aug 22, 2013

It calls itself “Your Accessible European Bank” and is partly owned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, an institution pledged to uphold democratic values. Read More »

Macedonia turns to SMS to curb pesticide use

Aug 19, 2013

Farmers in the Prespa Lake Basin of Resen, Macedonia are reducing the amount of harmful pesticides polluting the region with the help of a new system that incorporates monitoring pests and social media, according to National Geographic’s “News Watch”.

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Teen suicides put Latvia’s under scrutiny

Aug 14, 2013

The parents of the Latvian founders of a social media platform involved in a British suicide row are defending their sons, the Daily Mail writes. Latvian entrepreneurs and founders of, Ilja Terebin, 34, and Mark Terebin, 29, have come under fire from relatives of teens who have committed suicide after being cyber-bullied. Read More »

Gamers cry foul over too many Soviet stereotypes

Aug 7, 2013

Despite receiving positive reviews following its release, ‘Company of Heroes 2’, the sequel to the extremely popular RTS (real-time strategy) game by Relic, has recently elicited a strong backlash emanating from countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States that has cut to the very heart of historical accuracy and regional politics, according to the video game news site Polygon. Read More »

Moscow to track subway riders’ mobile phones

Aug 5, 2013

Moscow’s metro system will soon be equipped with devices able to read data off people’s mobile phones.

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Turkmenistan’s Internet blues

Turkmenistan is infamous for its tightly controlled media, and is one of the world’s greatest Internet Enemies by Reporters Without Borders’ estimations. With the average Turkmen finding his or her Internet access intermittent, slow, and tightly circumscribed, it is perhaps unsurprising that cyber-optimism among Turkmen internet users is running at an all time low.

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Russians, Ukrainian charged in ‘cutting edge’ global hacking scheme

Jul 30, 2013

Four Russians and a Ukrainian have been charged in what U.S. officials call the largest hacking attack in the country’s history, RIA Novosti reports.

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Gazprom chief to get $4 million iPad

Jul 29, 2013

Russia Beyond the Headlines details  a tender for a new iPad custom-made for Gazprom chairman Alexei Miller. Read More »

IT guys pinpoint exact location of Spamalot

Jul 25, 2013

Belarus has grabbed the dubious honor of being the biggest worldwide source of spam per capita, according to the BBC. Data from the Cloudmark security firm flagged 27 percent of Belarusian IP addresses as known sources of spam, with Romania in second place at 22 percent.

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The terrifying potential of a post-Navalny Russia

On the eve of being sentenced to a five-year term in a penal colony, Alexey Navalny blogged about puffer fish. The Russian opposition would be remiss to think of itself as a school of small fish being pursued by a big predatory fish (i.e. the Kremlin), he wrote on his blog. The predator was simply putting on an act to conceal its weakness.

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Web of Mystery

TIRASPOL | An unusual event took place 7 July in Tiraspol, the chief city of Transdniester, when a group of protesters gathered on a park square and called for a stop to the obstruction of websites critical of the government. It marked the first public demonstration against the administration of President Yevgeny Shevchuk since he came to power 18 months ago, pledging a more open style of governing in the unrecognized quasi-state of fewer than half a million inhabitants. Read More »

Religious group unveils violent anti-Pussy Riot game

Jul 15, 2013

Released by a Russian Orthodox youth organization, a new video game explicitly targets the feminist punk band Pussy Riot that became an international cause after its members were jailed for an antigovernment performance at a Moscow church last year, Reuters reports. Read More »

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