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Issue 1/2018: The growing generation gap

How today’s post-Soviet youth is radically different than previous generations – new issue now available!

January 2, 2018 - New Eastern Europe - Issue 1 2018Magazine

Photo: Courtesy of Alexey Solomin

The first issue of 2018 looks at the rise of a new generation in the post-Soivet space – one that may be radically different than previous Soviet and immediate post-Soviet generations. Above all, our authors illustrate how the ongoing generational exchange taking place in these countries, especially in today’s Russia, brings hope and not despair. Even more, the youth that is coming of age in these countries today, although often misunderstood by their parents and politicians, is probably the best indicator as to what could take place in the near future.

Their unprecedented participation in the 2017 rallies in Russia shows that these kids care about their future. Hence, it is worth keeping in mind the words of sociologist and researcher Svetlana Erpyleva who writes: “During the recent anti-corruption rallies in Russia, young people spoke out not only against the dishonesty of power and lack of political freedom in the country, but also against the unfair distribution of income between different groups, the inaccessible medical services, the high fees for student housing and growing food prices.” Not surprisingly, this potential is extremely tempting for politicians who – be it by direct communication (Alexei Navalny) or official instruction and historical policy (the Kremlin) try to shape their minds. As our authors note there is an increase of the latter, be it in Russia, Belarus or Ukraine, which causes us to reflect on the effectiveness of the methods used (such as a single interpretation of history in Russia or Belarus, or the new education reform in Ukraine) and the context in which they are introduced.

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If recent events can teach us anything, radical political change does not take place in the classroom, or in accordance with official rhetoric. Thus, while the immediate outcome of the March 2018 Russian presidential election may already be known, the long-term changes in the region are much more difficult to foresee, especially if we ignore the aspirations and values of these adolescents and young adults. With this in mind, we wish you an inspiring reading of this issue.

Table of Contents

OPINION & ANALYSIS

The politicisation of Russian youth Svetlana Erpyleva

Russia’s young and restless speak up Anastasia Sergeeva

Rewriting Russian history Dagmara Moskwa

Ukraine’s wartime education reform Wojciech Siegień

Education reform put to the test Kateryna Pryshchepa

A generation in transition Marta Ardashelia

The growing religiosity of Kyrgyz youth Keneshbek Sainazarov

Playing for high electoral stakes in Kyrgyzstan Joanna Lillis

Long live Kim Jong-un: how Russia helps the dictator thrive Artem Filatov 

Security in Europe with Russia and/or from Russia? Manfred Huterer

How can the West promote an East-Central European security alignment? Andreas Umland

Belarus’s complicated memory Maxim Rust

Ukrainians seek a Polish dream in Wrocław Olga Chrebor

INTERVIEWS

Religion, migration and the dreams of Dagestani youth An interview with Denis Sokolov

There is no question – we are able to defend ourselves An interview with Raimonds Bergmanis

HISTORY AND MEMORY

The story of the other Piłsudski Grzegorz Nurek

 The restless memory of Staro Sajmiste Yulia Oreshina

 The Ukrainian colony that never existed Marek Wojnar

REPORTS

Civil society steps in to preserve Romania’s past Stephen McGrath

Start-ups take off in Ukraine Yulia Lipentseva

PEOPLE, IDEAS, INSPIRATION

Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation and its contribution to Ukraine’s independence. A Memoir Taras Kuzio

A school like no other Kacper Dziekan

EASTERN CAFÉ

Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska takes us through the theatre performance Inside Pussy Riot.

Jan Brodowski reviews Serhii Plokhy’s most recent bookLost Kingdom. A History of Russian Nationalism from Ivan the Great to Vladimir Putin.

Laura Luciani discusses Victoria Lomasko’s graphic novel titled Other Russias.

Laurynas Vaičiūnas reviews Magnetic North: Conversations with Tomas Venclova.

Tibor Wilhelm Benedek examines Robert Service’s Russia and Its Islamic World – From the Mongol Conquest to the Syrian Military Intervention.

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