Articles and Commentary

Königsberg is no longer

rsz kaliningrad-9

This article originally appeared in "Meanwhile in the Baltics...", a collection of articles written by the graduates of 2016 Solidarity Academy - Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue, organised by the European Solidarity Centre in partnership with the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

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Between Kant and Kalinin. The identity of Kaliningrad

KaliningradAre inhabitants of the Kaliningrad Oblast “European Russians”? Is the region a different Russia, being influenced more by Polish food, German highways and Spanish beaches than by Russian empty spaces, traditional boots and cuisine? How has the identity of almost a million people living in the westernmost part of Russia been shaped since the collapse of the Soviet Union?


Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast is a region that usually appears in the media in the context of Russia's tense relations with the European Union and the NATO. It is presented as an "aircraft carrier", as well as "a great military base of Russia”. Rarely can one hear or read about the everyday life in the region, the developmental challenges it faces and the values ​​and symbols which are important to ordinary Kaliningraders. In particular, the question of identity changes among the region’s populations remains widely unknown both in Poland and in wider Europe.

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Russia’s millennials challenge the Kremlin

navalny protestKremlin opponent Alexei Navalny announced another nation-wide anti-corruption protest rally for June 12th 2017. The timing is tricky and designed to box the authorities into a corner. June 12th is widely celebrated as Russia Day with public events and ceremonies throughout the country. On the one hand, it would be more than awkward for the Russian authorities to prevent unsanctioned anti-corruption rallies amidst the Russia Day celebrations. And on the other hand, it would create a possibility for Navalny to convert the events into a massive anti-corruption rally. Therefore, June 12th will be a major defining point in the further behaviour of the Kremlin.

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Mistreated Georgian Capitalism

Georgian flag in TbilisiThe new left in Georgia has been quite consistent for years, arguing that the current socioeconomic problems are a result of liberal state practices combined with the opening of the local economy to global economic forces [neoliberal globalisation]. This is not the case, primarily for two reasons: first, there has never been a fully functioning market economy in Georgia, as evidenced by the rights of private property owners being continuously violated, and economic exchanges that were bound around de-facto monopolies. Second, no sector has actually suffered due to the wild influx of global capital; to the contrary the full investment potential has, in fact, never been used.

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