Internet Category: Internet

Why Ukraine said ‘Nyet’ to Russian social networks

When Ukrainian government took the decision to ban the use of Russian internet services such as the Yandex search engine and the social network Vkontakte, it looked like another example of the country’s propensity to ape Russia’s own worst practices even while it talks about joining the European fold.

But the ban is part of a broader debate in the West about whether such platforms are media companies or impartial middlemen, writes Leonid Bershidsky of Bloomberg.

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Ukraine bans leading Russian Internet sites

Confirming that the relations between Ukraine and Russia are currently at their lowest, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko yesterday signed a decree applying sanctions to 468 legal entities and 1,228 individuals from Russia.

Among the targeted organizations are the two leading Russian Internet groups — Yandex and Mail.Ru Group — the services of which will be made inaccessible from Ukraine.

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US-Ukrainian Grammarly secures $110 million from top international investors

Grammarly, a San Francisco-based startup with Ukrainian roots,  has just raised $110 million in growth equity funding at an undisclosed valuation. The round was led by General Catalyst with participation from Breyer Capital, IVP, SignalFire, and Spark Capital.

The company was founded in 2009 by Kyiv natives Aleksey Shevchenko and Maksim Litvin. Its AI-powered software helps people improve writing, monitoring errors in grammar and syntax, as well as incorrect speech constructions in real time.

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Ukrainian startup aims to revolutionize sport facility booking across the world

A team from Dnipro, a city of Central Ukraine formerly known as Dnipropetrovsk, has created “first global booking platform for sport facilities and sport teams.”

Dubbed Smartsport, the platform covers a variety of disciplines (including swimming, water polo, weightlifting, gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, and football), with 500 sport facilities made available in almost 20 countries, mostly in Europe.

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Ukrainian public e-procurement system comes to Moldova

ProZorro, a public e-procurement system made in Ukraine, has been launched in Moldova by local Ministry of Finance with support from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

After operating in a test mode for two months, M-Tender has processed 13 e-tenders and saved the state 97,000 Moldovian lei (almost $23,000 at the current exchange rate).

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Ukrainian-British startup Poptop raises £120,000 to expand in the UK

Newcastle-based Poptop.fm has secured £100,000 from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, which is managed by Northstar Ventures. An additional £20,000 came from an undisclosed angel investor.

Presenting itself as “an international event concierge service,” the startup offers a range of services including “music entertainment, catering, decoration, photography and event planning,” to name a few.

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Ukrainian app to flirt for you on social networks

If you’re too shy or busy to make the first step and chat with a lady you like on a social network, Ukrainian dating app Likeapp can do this for you.

Designed by a team from Dnipro (Dnepr), the application will help you “find a girl you like and invite her for a cup of coffee” via VKontakte, the largest social network in Russian-speaking countries.

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Uber competes with Russia’s Yandex.Taxi in Southern Ukraine

Almost simultaneously earlier this month, Uber and its Russian competitor Yandex.Taxi announced their expansion to Odessa, a major city in southern Ukraine.

Both companies offer their services at the same minimum price of 14 hryvnias (roughly 50 cents at the current exchange rate). However, unlike Uber, which supports both cash and cashless payments, Yandex.Taxi accepts only cash payments.

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Ukrainian social media users get five years in prison for ‘supporting separatism’

A Ukrainian court sentenced two men to five years in prison for “supporting separatism” on the social media website VKontakte on February 6.

The men, both residents of Sloviansk, were arrested by Ukraine’s Security Services in April 2015. They were convicted by a Sloviansk city court under an article of Ukraine’s penal code, “Infringement of the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine,” which carries with it a penalty of three to five years in prison.

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Ukrainian information ministry asks Facebook for help to combat fake news

Last week Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine Yurii Stets appealed to Facebook to develop a verification mechanism to filter out fake news.

The Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine also promised to cooperate with Facebook – which is used by around 3 million Ukrainians on a daily basis – in tackling the problem of fake news.

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