Saturday, January 26, 2019

Blogs Displacing Normal Outlets as Source of News in Many Parts of Russia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 23 – As official repression of news outlets increases, an ever greater share of news is available only or at least first on regional blogs, many of which are not tracked on a regular basis at least beyond the locales where they report. Some regional agencies are beginning to cover these reports on a regular basis.

            One of the first to do that systematically has been the Kavkaz-Uzel portal which provides daily news stories about the region and has been featuring some of the most prominent bloggers of the region.  But now, Kavkaz-Uzel has taken the next step and is featuring a regular collection of these blogger-originated stories callled “The Top Ten of the North Caucasus Blogosphere.

            In the latest collection (, three stories offered by bloggers who seldom attract much attention on their own are highlighted and merit attention:

·         Kaloy Akhilgov from Ingushetia describes the ways Yunus-Bek Yevkurov is creating from whole cloth charges against those in the republic parliament who voted against his September 26 border accord with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov and how the opposition is monitoring what Yevkurov is doing.

·         Khazan Katsiyev, also of Ingushetia, details the way in which Yevkurov’s judicial crackdown is extending beyond the capital and beyond the leadership of the opposition to officials and activists in the regions of the republic who do not approve of what Yevkurov has done with regard to the border or otherwise.  These cases are seldom reported in the republic media; and Katsiyev’s post provides the best recounting of what is happening to ordinary people who oppose the republic head.

·         And, for amusement, Arsen Bulatov, from Kabardino-Balkaria, reports that some street signs in his republic are being translated into English, often with unfortunate result. Indeed, he says, sometimes the rendering suggests those officials doing it don’t know English or what the words they are using mean.  He provides a picture of Samshit Street and its English rendering “Some Shit,” exactly the situation many people there feel themselves to be in.

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