I am a researcher based in Dublin, Ireland. I study protest, digital media and internet freedom in Eastern Europe and beyond.
Latest posts by Tanya Lokot
Unfreedom Monitor Report: Russia
Advox research into digital authoritarianism in Russia is now in a report. Read an excerpt and download the full pdf.
How Russia makes laws to support networked authoritarianism
Russian lawmakers and government have created a sprawling web of new laws and amendments to police citizen activity and speech, pressure independent media and bring tech companies to heel.
Court in Russia-occupied Crimea sentences freelance journalist to six years in prison
Vladyslav Yesypenko was detained in Crimea in March 2021 on suspicion of collecting information for Ukrainian intelligence, charges the journalist has denied. While in detention, has reportedly endured torture.
Russia rose to second place globally in Twitter content removal requests
Russia came in second place after Japan and accounted for 25 percent of global Twitter takedown requests in January-June 2021. Most requests targeted content that allegedly violated local laws against suicide promotion.
Belarusian cyberactivists claim railway system hack to protest Russian troop movements
The hacker collective said it would be prepared to hand over encryption keys if 50 Belarusian political prisoners were released and the presence of Russian troops in Belarus was “prevented.”
Google removes YouTube ads featuring interrogations of Belarusian political prisoners
The short videos, used to promote pro-government channels, feature opposition members and independent journalists imprisoned by the Lukashenka regime in what look like forced confessions made under duress.
Russian censors block website of legal aid non-profit OVD-Info
"We see this as a continuation of the state's attack on civil society. It is no surprise that the attack is now focused on OVD-Info."
Belarus authorities block access to more independent media added to extremist list
The websites of Deutsche Welle, Current Time and the employees and readers of BelsatTV and NEXTA are the latest targets in Belarus' ongoing crackdown on independent media and free expression.
Ahead of September elections, Russia tightens grip on remaining online freedoms
Ahead of Russia's parliamentary elections on September 17-19, the state's crackdown on opposition groups, circumvention tools and internet infrastructure has escalated to a fever pitch.
Investigative journalism group OCCRP says it will no longer work in Russia
Drew Sullivan, OCCRP's co-founder and editor-in-chief, said their work in Russia at the moment would do local reporters "more harm than good."
Russian court issues bigger fines to social media companies for breaching data localization rules
The data localization law, adopted in 2015, requires all internet companies processing Russian users' data to store such data on servers physically located inside Russia.
Blogger gets prison sentence for branding Kazakhstan's language policies “russophobic”
According to Taichimbekov, the Kazakh state has been "sourcing Russian individuals who speak out in favor of banning Russian television, banning Russian language, excluding it from the Constitution."
More independent media added to Russia's “foreign agent” roster
"As for the list of foreign agents, by now it has so many decent people and publications on it that not to be on this list is simply indecent."
Belarus court labels independent media outlets Tut.by, Zerkalo.io as ‘extremist’
The ruling applies to every single piece of content on the Tut.by and Zerkalo.io websites, as well as to all content posted on their social media channels.
Russian internet censor blocks Team Navalny websites
Navalny's main website, navalny.com, as well as over 40 other webpages for Navalny's national network of campaign offices were added to Roskomnadzor's state registry for blocked websites.
Team 29, Russia's most prominent legal defense group, shuts down under state pressure
On July 19, after its website was blocked, Team 29 announced it was shutting down its operations in order to protect its staff and clients from possible criminal prosecution.
State escalates attacks on media freedom and civil society in Belarus
Since the start of July, dozens of civil society organisations and independent media outlets in Belarus have faced law enforcement raids, searches and staff detentions.
Top Belarusian media website removes social media posts to protect employees
Tut.by editors removed virtually all of the content published on most of their social media channels in 2020 and the first half of 2021, at the height of the post-election protests.
Organiser of online map protest in Russia fined for crowdsourced obscenities
Unlike street protests, which require prior authorisation from local authorities, online rallies aren't technically subject to the same restrictions.
New report highlights ongoing pressure on Ukrainian activists and rights defenders
In the first quarter of 2021, physical attacks, destruction or damage to activists’ property, and attempted intimidation of human rights defenders were the most common, in addition to digital threats.