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The fall issue of 2012, marking the first anniversary of New Eastern Europe, provides a special focus on some of the many complicated issues and relationships surrounding energy in Eastern Europe. The opening articles glimpse into the games being played in the region such as Russia’s move to focus on oil exports to China, Lithuania’s nuclear power ambitions, Ukraine’s internal tug-of-war with natural gas and the water struggles between the states of Central Asia.
Also, after six months since being re-elected to the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and the politics in Russia continue to be an area in need of closer examination. Jadwiga Rogoża provides a detailed picture of those who Putin surrounds himself with as well as an analysis of the evolution of the Kremlin’s political vision. While Luke Harding discusses his time as a foreign correspondent in Moscow and the intimidation tactics used by the Russians against him and his family. And yet for those of us who like to believe in the overwhelming role of the KGB, Eugeniusz Smolar advises that we take a little more balanced look, as he discusses the new book by Edward Lucas of the Economist.
This proves once again that we can’t say “boring” when it comes to Central and Eastern Europe. In a provocative piece, Ukrainian journalist Vitaly Pornikov argues that the end of the post-Soviet system has already begun. And Paweł Świeboda, seeing in Ukraine Europe’s zone of oblivion, points to the disappointment in Brussels and that “losing Ukraine” would mean a true fiasco of the key Polish diplomatic project. British historian Kelly Hignett puts the Bulgarian underworld in the spotlight, while Jozef Banáš discusses his transition from politician and diplomat to one of Slovakia’s bestselling authors.
The history section includes the very unique story of Andriy Chaban; an average Ukrainian who, in his elder years, reveals fascinating details of his life during the Second World War where he served in three different armies and later imprisoned in the Soviet Gulag.
The review section wraps up the issue with reviews of Madeleine Albright’s new book Prague Winter and Orlando Figes’s Send Me Word as well as an exhibition on Nostalgia for East Germany and Ballet and St. Petersburg.