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Category: Articles and Commentary

Bulgaria’s denial of its Ottoman past and Turkish identity

Despite more than five hundred years of Turkish rule, the majority of present-day Bulgarians demonise and reject “non-Bulgarian” – that is, Turkish, Muslim, or Roma – influences in their history and culture. While the Bulgarian government’s harshest policies of ethnic cleansing concluded with the fall of communism, this exclusivist narrative of Bulgarian national history nevertheless continues to discriminate against such communities.

March 24, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Ukraine’s far right unclear prospects in the 2019 elections

Moscow has long exploited Ukraine’s far-right movements as scarecrows, inflating their political importance, in an effort to discredit the Ukrainian nation, as a whole. But in reality, ultra-nationalist parties in post-Soviet Ukraine have struggled to find support for several election cycles now. If the various groups cannot unite, they are likely to fail once again in the 2019 parliamentary elections.

March 22, 2019 - Andreas Umland

A new authoritarian succession model being tested in Kazakhstan

The news of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s resignation as president of Kazakhstan announced on March 19th 2019 sent shockwaves across Eurasia. No post-Soviet leader has attempted a similar transition since 1991.

March 21, 2019 - Mariya Y. Omelicheva

Armenia sides with Russia again, this time in Syria

Even after the change of power last year, Armenia continues to adhere to Russia on foreign policy and tolerate Russia’s massive role domestically. Most recently, this is demonstrated by Armenia supporting Russia’s vast military effort in support of the Syrian regime.

March 20, 2019 - Abbas Zeynalli Rusif Huseynov

Three reasons why a comedian should not be the president of Ukraine

As the Ukrainian presidential elections approach later this month, many political scientists are talking about the shocking popularity of comedian-candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy. But perhaps they should also spend more time discussing the negative aspects of the candidate and the struggles his potential election could bring to Ukraine.

March 19, 2019 - Taras Kuzio

Kashubian Poles: Struggling with the “fifth column” label

Kashubia was once a culturally independent community in what is now known as the Pomeranian region in Poland. After a history filled with wars, Germanisation, Polonisation, and Sovietisation, where should the boundaries of Kashubian cultural identity be drawn today – and to what extent does it matter?

March 18, 2019 - Balsa Lubarda

Pragmatic Eurasianism. Four approaches for better understanding the Eurasian Economic Union

In May 2019 we will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the 25th anniversary of the idea of modern Eurasian integration. Since then, the Eurasian Economic Union established itself as a quite successfully developing, open and attractive integration block, which has indeed become the indisputable reality of the economic processes in Eurasia. Perhaps enough time has passed so that we might begin to think about a “theory of Eurasian integration” in itself, as well as to outline its potential contents.

March 15, 2019 - Yuri Kofner

Ukrainian politicians continue to lie in Brussels – and to their voters

A recent panel in Brussels gave five Ukrainian presidential candidates the opportunity for a surrogate to give a speech on behalf of their campaign. Most of them were utterly deceptive, simply lying, rejecting the firm positions of their candidates to tell the European audience what they wanted to hear. Such deception reveals a troubling future for Ukraine if one of these anti-Western populists takes the presidency.

March 12, 2019 - Taras Kuzio

Recognising the Russian threat

Five years after Russia used information and lies, special forces, dark money, propaganda, military invasions, and the manipulation of disadvantaged locals to attempt to seize all of southern and eastern Ukraine – succeeding in the Donbas and Crimea – one regional Ukrainian leader from those chaotic and uncertain days has important, and possibly even optimistic, lessons from his innovative approach to defend Ukraine and its European path against Russian aggression and its retrograde plan for the region.

March 11, 2019 - Yury Lobunov

How to make Eastern Europe’s gray zone less gray?

The United States’ Baltic and Adriatic Charters could become templates for embedding Ukraine and Georgia, as well as possibly Moldova and Azerbaijan, into a provisional multilateral security network. Despite certain caveats, a US-GUAM Charter would be a small but symbolically significant step forward in making Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus more secure.

March 6, 2019 - Andreas Umland Iryna Vereshchuk

Ukraine’s economy. A chance for success

In January of last year, Ukraine’s parliament passed a new law on the privatisation of state-owned and municipal property. The law, prepared with the assistance of the EU and the IMF, introduced clear rules for the process of privatisation of state property. But will the current reforms be enough to convince foreign investors to come to Ukraine?

Ukraine’s economy has improved significantly since the crisis it was caught in after Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014. As a result of the war that broke out in the eastern parts of the country, Ukraine lost important industrial territories, which in 2012 generated as much as 15.75 per cent of its GDP. It was also forced to quickly and radically increase military spending. Not surprisingly, in 2014 – the year of the most intense military activity in Donbas – the Ukrainian economy was in trouble.

March 4, 2019 - Paweł Purski

The presidential campaign in Ukraine: new front-runners and old challenges

Given the new trends of the Ukrainian presidential campaign and the unexpected leadership of the candidate-comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the polls, one can well expect the consolidation of the political heavyweights Yulia Tymoshenko and Petro Poroshenko to counter a non-system player who is nevertheless capable of burying their chances of political success in the upcoming elections.

March 4, 2019 - Ruslan Kermach

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