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Stories and ideas

Witnessing another Putin victory

The results of the March presidential election in Russia have come as no surprise. Yet, the election victory of Vladimir Putin was not his only success. The high voter turnout, together with a low level of voting irregularities in comparison with previous elections, indicate that Putin’s system has not lost the people’s hearts and minds.

I arrived in Moscow a few days ahead of the 2018 presidential election. The weather was cold and the city was plastered with flyers and banners reminding Muscovites of the upcoming election – in which the outcome was all but certain. On every street corner, young Russians were handing out refrigerator magnets and balloons with similar reminders. They are reluctant to talk about their political preferences, but they do not have to. In the end, what the authorities are aiming for is a strong voter turnout.

April 26, 2018 - Wiktoria Bieliaszyn

Mickiewicz reactivated

For the first time in 190 years, music has been added to the poetry of Poland’s greatest poet – Adam Mickiewicz. The project is a collaboration between a Ukrainian folk rock band and a contemporary Polish writer.

The album, titled Mickiewicz-Stasiuk-Haydamaky, includes 10 poems put to the music of the Kyiv-based band Haydamaky. Andrzej Stasiuk, a renowned Polish writer, is one of the initiators of the project, and appears in some of the tracks reading Mickiewicz’s poetry. The cross-border collaboration reflects the heritage of the poet himself. “Mickiewicz has it all,” Stasiuk says. “The lyrics, rhythm and energy.”

April 26, 2018 - Grzegorz Nurek

The Church’s social activism in post-Maidan Ukraine

During the times of crisis of Ukrainian statehood and Russian aggression, churches proved to be trusted leaders who promoted the consolidation of the emerging civil society.

April 17, 2018 - Mykhailo Cherenkov

Bosnia: Young people with the courage to stay

Two decades after the war that tore their country apart, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are still hoping to join the European Union. It’s a dream that some don’t wait for, as several thousands flee to the West in hope of a better life. While others, less conformist, choose to stay in order to rebuild what has been lost.

April 13, 2018 - Linda Lefebvre

Debunking Russia’s Crimean myth

A review of Serhii Hromenko's "#CrimeaIsOurs. History of the Russian Myth," Publisher: Himgest, Kyiv 2017.

April 12, 2018 - Kateryna Pryshchepa

How to clean up Russian politics

The reality of a one-person autocracy - like in Russia - is that there is no alternative political activity, besides an armed attempt at overthrow, in which the citizens can engage. But to participate in any public political act, in the eyes of those who do not understand, is to cooperate with the regime. But what other choice Russians have?

April 4, 2018 - Vitali Shkliarov

In the wake of post-Atlanticism

In a chain of political reactions, Russia acts as a protective fence to China, hindering the US rebalancing strategy against China while the European security structure is challenged by Russia. In this geopolitical game, the western position must refocus on practical co-operation and extended dialogue with the Central Asian region since geographically, Central Asia is divided between Russia and China. Currently, institutional outreach of the EU and NATO is almost non-existent there.

April 3, 2018 - Beka Kiria

General Kosciuszko, a man ahead of his time

Few know the story of the Polish General Tadeusz Kosciuszko who fought for freedom on both sides of the Atlantic and gave Thomas Jefferson his fortune in America to free African slaves.

March 29, 2018 - The Bridge Foundation

Seven cycles of Ukraine’s history

A review of Ukraine: Democratisation, Corruption and the New Russian Imperialism. By: Taras Kuzio. Publisher: Praeger, Santa Barbara, CA, 2015.

March 28, 2018 - Maxim Rust

How the trash business is poisoning Russia

On March 21st a local court in the Russian town of Volokolamsk ruled to keep a dump producing unbearable smell open. Just on the next day dozens of children were taken to the hospital. No measures have been taken to protect the health of people and the environment.

March 27, 2018 - Marija Bogdanovic

To reunite Ukraine, Kyiv must overcome its own prejudices

Russia’s aggression has divided Ukrainians physically and mentally. But the deepest rift is not between “pro-Russians” and “pro-Ukrainians”. It is between those who portray the war as an integral part of nation building for Ukraine and those for whom nation building is moot as long as the war grinds on.

March 25, 2018 - Katherine Quinn-Judge

Bulgaria: Women’s rights at risk

On March 12th, the European Parliament called upon EU countries, including Bulgaria, to ratify the Istanbul Convention. Only one Bulgarian MEP was present at the debate. And he was against the treaty.

March 23, 2018 - Marija Bogdanovic

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