Abstract: Russian media have recently (re-)gained attention of the scholarly community, mostly due to the rise of cyber-attacking techniques and computational propaganda efforts. A revived conceptualization of the Russian media as a uniform system driven by a well-coordinated propagandistic state effort, though having evidence thereunder, does not allow seeing the public discussion inside Russia as a more diverse and multifaceted process. This is especially true for the Russian-language mediated discussions online, which, in the recent years, have proven to be efficient enough in raising both social issues and waves of political protest, including on-street spillovers. While, in the recent years, several attempts have been made to demonstrate the complexity of the Russian media system at large, the content and structures of the Russian-language online discussions remain seriously understudied. The thematic issue draws attention to various aspects of online public discussions in Runet; it creates a perspective in studying Russian mediated communication at the level of Internet users. The articles are selected in the way that they not only contribute to the systemic knowledge on the Russian media but also add to the respective subdomains of media research, including the studies on social problem construction, news values, political polarization, and affect in communication.
Keywords: public discussion; Runet; Russia; Russian media; social media