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Category: Articles and Commentary

Polish encounters

Zbigniew Brzezinski's death this year is a huge loss to me and my wife. He was America's greatest strategic thinker and had a significant impact on my professional life, as did many other Polish and Polish-Americans throughout the last 40 years or so. I have visited Poland frequently since the 1970s. As an American teacher and scholar on Central and Eastern Europe, I found it useful to meet not only academics but politicians as well. Although I do not speak Polish, I could pronounce most of the names fairly well; the name of Janusz Onyszkiewicz was among the more difficult ones. My Polish encounters were largely limited to those who spoke English. The irresistible Adam Michnik was an exception: our conversations needed an interpreter. If I may say so, our friendship has managed to develop nevertheless. I try to see him every time I am in Warsaw, most recently in the autumn of 2016.

October 4, 2017 - Charles Gati

The mandate for keeping peace

For the last two weeks, numerous statements have been made about the possible United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission to Ukraine. While the idea is not new the first request was made by Ukraine in February 2015 and later sent to the UN only with the Russian President’s statement about the possibility to deploy a mission, public and media attention were caught by the issue.

October 2, 2017 - Hanna Shelest

What’s new in Visegrad?

In this episode In between Europe discuss the Visegrad Four cooperation, its past, present, and future with Wojciech Przybylski, the editor in chief of Visegrad Insight and chairman of Res Publica Nowa. The V4 group, which includes Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, has received much attention since the European migration crisis broke out in 2015. This attention might have overshadowed the fact that Visegrad has often found it hard to stake out common positions and that its role, in the future multi-speed Europe, could be upended even more.

September 29, 2017 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

No place for middle ground in Ukraine

Why a deal with Russia over Ukraine would be a really bad choice and how this crisis spells a deeper change in Eurasia.

September 24, 2017 - Wiktor Babinski

Joseph Conrad revisited

This special series of articles about the life and work of Joseph Conrad first appeared in Issue 5/2017 of New Eastern Europe. Subscribe now.

September 15, 2017 - New Eastern Europe

Ten things you need to know about Russian military exercises

The official phase of “Zapad-2017”, the biggest Russian-Belarusian military exercise this year, started today (September 14th). Yet, this event has been analysed by security pundits for months. There were many speculations about how this exercise will change the regional dynamics and security situation. The aim of this article is to put “Zapad-2017” into a larger perspective. How do the Russian armed forces train and what is the purpose of those drills? What has changed since the previous “Zapad” exercise which took place in 2013? What is to watch during “Zapad-2017”?

September 14, 2017 - Dominik P. Jankowski

Hybrid war: The real casualties in Ukraine

Russia’s Post-Soviet Wars

The undeclared Russian onslaught on Ukraine commenced in late 2013. The EuroMaidan revolution held in Kyiv in the dead of the 2013/14 winter showed the determination of the Ukrainians to join the Euro-Atlantic structures. The discredited Viktor Yanukovych’s government that ordered the use of live ammunition and snipers against the peaceful protesters fled (with whatever they could grab of their amassed kleptocratic fortunes) to their pay and task master in Moscow. In the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war 11,000 to 15,000 people have been killed by mid-2017 and 1.6 million have left the warzone as internal or international refugees. To this number 50,000 refugees from Russia-occupied Crimea must be added.

September 8, 2017 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

The Sun Sets in the East

The Suns Sets in the East is an avant-garde documentary film contrasting present-day Lithuania with extracts from a peasant's diary from 1984/85. 

September 7, 2017 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

The curious case of Mikheil Saakashvili

When on July 26th 2017 it was declared that Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, decided to rescind his previous decision of granting Ukrainian citizenship to the former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, political commentators in Ukraine all agreed that this was one of Poroshenko’s most irrational decisions since assuming office. Now, when the Ukrainian authorities have detained Saakashvili's brother, David, who has been living in Kyiv, the case looks even more bizarre, where state institutions are being used as tools to stop potential political competition.

September 6, 2017 - Example Author

Beyond Homo Sovieticus: Soviet identity as a weapon of mass deconstruction

For decades, the idea of Homo Sovieticus dwelled in the imaginaries of people both east and west of the iron curtain. In the USSR, it was both a theoretical concept and a bright vision of the present and of the future, a cosmopolitan supra-national building project that was supposed to bring about a superior form of human existence, one in which true commitment to the Soviet cause would have led to untold Communist bounty.

September 5, 2017 - Michael Gentile and Dmytro Potekhin

Corruption in Romania: Trends and prospects

In this episode In between Europe discuss corruption trends and the trajectory of the anticorruption fight in Romania with Laura Stefan, an anti-corruption expert from the Romanian think tank Expert Forum. History minute: Historical determinism meets norm entrepreneurship.

September 4, 2017 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

Striking down Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law

Last month’s European Court of Human Rights case of Bayev and others v. Russia is important in a legal sense and inconsequential in a practical sense. The Court decisively said that Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law violated freedom of expression and was discriminatory. Of the seven judges, six decided that Russia was in the wrong. Only one judge—the judge from Russia—said that the law complied with human rights. This is a decisive legal victory in favor of freedom of expression, but it is doubtful that the court case will influence views of LGBT people in Russia and the region.

August 22, 2017 - Gabriel Armas-Cardona

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