Russian doctors’ union launches ‘map of problems’ faced by medics during COVID-19

Screenshot of the Alliance of Doctors’ Interactive Map. Red circles represent general problems, black represents deaths of medical staff, and green represents resolved problems. At the time of writing, Russia has 370,680 confirmed COVID-19 cases according to the Johns Hopkins University Map. In recent days, Russian health officials have claimed that the situation may stabilise. However, severe regional outbreaks such as the recent spike of infections in Dagestan could jeopardise any slow recovery. In these conditions, the country’s medical system is under enormous strain. That’s why on May 20, the…

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Milada Horáková: 70 years after her sham trial and execution, Czechs reflect on their communist past

A large billboard representing Milada Horáková and a slogan beneath reading “Zavražděna komunisty” (Murdered by communists) hanging on Prague Old Town Square. Photo by Filip Noubel, used with permission. June 27 marks a special date in the Czech Republic: Remembrance Day for the victims of the communist regime (Den památky obětí komunistického režimu). This year, it was commemorated with particular force because exactly 70 years ago, on June 27, 1950, Milada Horáková, a lawyer, politician and Nazi resister, was hanged along with others after a show trial under the orders…

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Cryptocurrency scammers flood Facebook users with ads for fake Forbes.com articles

A Facebook page about Cookies advertising cryptocurrencies. Suspicious? Photo by Meta.mk, used with permission. This story is based on reporting by Global Voices’ content partner Meta.mk News Agency, a project of Metamorphosis Foundation.  Scammers using fake Forbes articles and anti-EU disinformation as bait continue to target Facebook users across Europe, the Skopje-based Metamorphosis Foundation has warned. Metamorphosis is a civil society organization from North Macedonia promoting digital rights and media literacy. Its monitoring of social networks has revealed that scammers continue to use Facebook advertisements masked as links to articles from…

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In the Czech Republic, controversy over a newly re-erected Catholic monument ends in flames

View of Prague Old Town Square with the newly rebuilt Column. Photo by Filip Noubel, used with permission. Prague’s Old Town square is one of the most iconic locations in the Czech Republic, that embodies the heart of the well-preserved historic city center, with monuments and buildings going back several centuries. But for Czech people, the square is foremost a stage for their history, where several key political and religious events took place. Now, with the surprising return of the Marian Column — a religious column erected in 1650 but destroyed in 1918,…

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A conversation with Udmurt language digital activist Artyom Malykh

Artyom Malykh speaks at the Eshkolot cultural festival in Moscow. Photo courtesy of Artyom Malykh. Udmurt is a Uralic language spoken in Russia’s autonomous Republic of Udmurtia, where it shares official status with Russian. Speakers can also be found across a large area between the Volga River and Ural Mountains, such as in the Perm and Kirov Regions and neighbouring autonomous republics of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Mari El. It is one of several related Uralic languages spoken in this diverse area of Russia, such as Mari, Erzya, Moksha, and Komi.…

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Remembering the heartbreaking words of Yugoslavia’s war-struck ‘Lost Generation’

Photo of Yugoslav People’s Army conscript from Bosnia and Herzegovina Bahrudin Kaletović, screencap from Yutel video from 1991. Source: Wikipedia, Fair Use. The interview is as haunting today as it was 29 years ago, perhaps even more so. A despondent, scrawny, dark-eyed 19-year-old dressed in army camouflages speaks to a journalist from Yutel, a short-lived Yugoslav newscaster known for its relatively impartial coverage, as he takes cover from enemy forces. Except he doesn’t really know why they are his enemies. They are, like, trying to secede, and we are, like,…

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Is China’s ‘House of Cards’ in the Czech Republic beginning to wobble?

Cover of Respekt magazine, one of the most widely read weeklies in the Czech Republic. Recent covers have mostly been related to China’s influence in the country. Photo by Filip Noubel, used with permission. Back in 2015, when Czech President Miloš Zeman was the only leader of a European Union member state to attend a military parade in Beijing marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, it seemed China and the Czech Republic were destined for a glorious friendship, leaving behind forever the raw feelings that they began the century…

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LGBTQ+ community and politicians salute Montenegro’s new law on same-sex partnerships

Montenegrin activists at the 2013 SeaSide Pride in Budva, holding signs reading “I’m like you,” “For marriage equality,” “Love is love,” and “I vote for love.” Photo by LGBTQ+ Forum Progres, CC BY-NC-SA. Montenegro’s parliament has adopted a law on life partnership for same-sex couples, making Montenegro the first country in the Western Balkans to legally recognize same-sex marriage. The law passed on July 1 does not include provisions to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. In all other aspects, their rights are the same as for heterosexual couples, including property…

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Password hack claim puts cyber security on the public agenda in North Macedonia

Ministry of Finance of Republic of North Macedonia in Skopje. Photo by Meta.mk, used with permission. This story is based on reporting by Global Voices content partner Meta.mk News Agency, a project of Metamorphosis Foundation. In North Macedonia, a hack targeting the email addresses and passwords of government officials may have missed its mark. But the attempt did succeed in briefly making cyber security a national talking point. Twitter recently suspended the anonymous Twitter profile named “Powerful Greek Army”, which on May 10 published a text file that it claimed contained the…

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Uyghur emojis help spread message of cultural resistance over social media

One of the emojis designed to represent an Uyghur man wearing traditional clothes. Illustration reproduced with permission. Emojis representing Uyghur characters and culture are now available on the encrypted messenger platform Telegram in an effort by the Uyghur diaspora in Russian-speaking countries to raise visibility. While Uyghurs living in China are experiencing unprecedented attacks on their most basic human rights, the Uyghur diaspora in Russian-speaking countries (an estimated 350,000 people mostly in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan) enjoy relatively greater freedom of expression, and are able to advocate for their…

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