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Stories and ideas

The language of discord: Ukrainian, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian

Instead of building on the concept of child-centered education, the Ukrainian authorities will likely implement the poorly designed and unprepared educational reform that will bring nothing but further controversy.

January 29, 2018 - Ararat L. Osipian

Why Warsaw is not supporting Kyiv as much as it should

The recently intensifying memory conflict around the interpretation of some Second World War events between Ukraine and Poland is distracting the two intertwined nations from their main international challenges today.

January 16, 2018 - Andreas Umland

Beyond secessionism: How “impatient regionalism” could hurt foreign policy of EU member states

External actions of local governments are developed and regulated based on the competences vested in them by the national laws. While local authorities occasionally tend to ignore these regulations, they have to be aware of the consequences of their actions and bear in mind the circumstances abroad that should be handled with extreme caution.

January 15, 2018 - Ayaz Rzayev

Czechs romanticise cultural Christianity

Interview with Petr Kratochvil, director of the Institute of International Relations Prague. Interviewer: Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska.

January 11, 2018 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

Building hybrid resistance

Review of "The Hybrid Aggression of Russia: Lessons for Europe" (Гібридна агресія Росії: уроки для Європи). By: Yevhen Mahda. Publisher: Kalamar Publishing House, Kyiv, 2017.

January 8, 2018 - Tomasz Lachowski

They who must not be blamed for watching the tales: Russian propaganda in Ukraine

Since 2013, Russian media has been disseminating anti-Ukrainian propaganda which would enable and explain Russian intervention in Donbas. If the region is ever reintegrated into Ukraine, the Ukrainian government and people will need a lot of work and effort to reverse the negative image of the country in the minds of Donbas people.

January 5, 2018 - Mariia Terentieva

In Transnistria, you can still dream

Like youth everywhere, young people in Transnistria are depressed about little things but not as anxious as their peers in the West. The lack of information and the feeling of living in a bubble make it easier for them to survive. Despite what you might often read in western media, life in Transnistria is not all that bad.

January 4, 2018 - Michael Eric Lambert

A generation in transition

Last year, the European Union finally decided to allow Georgians to travel to the EU visa free. Many Georgians like to joke that the current generation, unlike their parents, take weekend getaways in Berlin, not Moscow. Yet in reality, many young Georgians cannot afford to leave the country as they are faced with economic and social hardships.

Georgia's geographical position between Asia and Europe is both an advantage and a challenge for the country. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of independence, the country had gone through war and devastation; it lost 20 per cent of its territory and currently struggles to find a development path with the threat of Russian intervention. Yet, as local political leaders like to repeat, Georgia has made its civilisational choice.

Tbilisi is confident the European model of democracy, and the Euro-Atlantic security system, will help preserve the country's stability and sovereignty. Despite the open aggression of Russia, which does not want to lose its sphere of influence in the South Caucasus, Georgian officials actively co-operate with the EU and dream of one day becoming a NATO member. Like their peers in the West, young people in Georgia struggle to make a start in life, but they also hope for a brighter future.

January 2, 2018 - Marta Ardashelia

Ukrainians seek a Polish dream in Wrocław

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Ukrainian migrants arriving to Poland, but their presence is visible. In Wrocław, a city with slightly less than 630,000 residents, between 51,000 and 64,000 are Ukrainian – that is around one in every ten residents.

I arrange a meeting with Alina in a Wrocław pub called Idyll.. Wrocław is a city in the western part of Poland. Before the Second World War it was a German city known as Breslau. After the war and the border changes, the Germans were expelled and Poles moved in, many of whom were from the eastern part of the former Polish lands. Today, it is a lively city with a growing population – many of whom are immigrants from Ukraine.

January 2, 2018 - Olga Chrebor

Civil society steps in to preserve Romania’s past

In Romania, despite a lack of political will, civil society is racing to save dilapidated old structures and help ensure the survival of the region's unique identity. Yet, will their efforts be enough to save the thousands of heritage sites across the country?

A dozen-strong group of volunteers gather at the stone base of a fortified Lutheran church in the small Saxon village of Filetelnic, Transylvania, as Eugen Vaida, head of the Ambulanta Pentru Monumente (Ambulance for Monuments), gives directions on how to save one of the church’s three-metre-high fortified walls. The wall, part of which dates back to the 15th century, is crumbling from the top down as a result of water infiltration. This would eventually destroy the wall, as well as the ancient inscriptions on it, which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

Sadly, Filetelnic is not a unique case. Many heritage buildings throughout this region have fallen into various states of disrepair, from crumbling medieval fortified churches to abandoned Hungarian castles, from old war monuments to centuries-old Saxon homes.

January 2, 2018 - Stephen McGrath

Start-ups take off in Ukraine

Start-ups are rapidly developing in Ukraine with many companies attaining million dollar investments. Thus, some of the very popular tech products on the market are ones you may not realise originate in Ukraine. For the moment they are just the tip of the iceberg, as the public and private sector are seeking ways to cultivate Ukraine’s emerging entrepreneurial spirit even more.

In the IT world, Ukraine is usually perceived as a country for outsourcing, where programmers work for somebody else’s business instead of starting their own. This theory no longer holds true as more and more Ukrainians have showed that they can become entrepreneurs too. Many have established new start-up companies and some even go through the seven circles of hell to get investments. They fail, they succeed, but they do not give up trying. You may even recognise some of the Ukrainian products which have managed to succeed on the global market, even though you probably did not know that they came from Ukraine.

January 2, 2018 - Yulia Lipentseva

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

The Polish discussion on Ukraine and the “Eastern Question” filled the pages of many of the underground publications that existed in the 1980s in communist Poland. Similar to Kultura since the late 1940s, they called for reconciliation between former enemies and mutual forgiveness for past crimes committed by all sides.

Growing up in northern England I was surrounded by nationalisms of different kinds. Irish nationalists seeking a united Ireland were at war in Ulster and had brought their terrorist campaign to the British mainland. Eastern European refugees from the communist bloc had brought their nationalisms with them to Great Britain and these continued to open old wounds in the émigré ghettos. The two biggest of these nationalisms were Ukrainian and Polish. Most members of the Ukrainian community in Britain were members of the three wings of the OUN (Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists) with the Stepan Bandera wing by far the largest. Their primary enemy though was the Russians and the Soviet empire – not Poles or Poland.

January 2, 2018 - Taras Kuzio

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