[…] The same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin posted a controversial electoral win, a Moscow firm backed by a Kremlin insider bought up a blogging service widely used by dissidents in the country. Coincidence?
Some bloggers in Russia think not. “The Russian company now has an opportunity to close … communities of anyone not [in] consent with Putin’s mode,” wrote “dobriy_cheburek,” responding to LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick’s post about the deal [ed. comment here]. Similar thoughts are now echoing around the country’s blogosphere.
Here’s the background: On Sunday, Putin’s United Russia party swept the country’s parliamentary elections — winning more than 64% of the vote.
Putin’s victory already is being challenged by a wide range of domestic and Western agencies, including NATO and the Council of Europe. The White House also has expressed concerns that the election was rigged.
Also on Sunday, San Francisco-based Six Apart disclosed that it had sold its LiveJournal blogging service, used by more than 1 million Russians — including many Putin critics — to Moscow’s SUP.
Never heard of SUP? It’s backed by Aleksandr Mamut. He’s been described as “the new face of Russia’s oligarchy” by the BBC and by The New York Times as “the Kremlin’s latest all-purpose power broker.” […]
LJ is now owned by a major Russian power broker, closely associated with Putin, who apparently just won a rigged election, and wants to shut down voices of dissent, many of whom use LJ. Time to move elsewhere.
I renewed just last month, so I will still be on LJ for a while, and I’ll likely keep a free account in any case, to read those of my friends who don’t move. But this journal is mirrored over at InsaneJournal, which may become its primary home soon.