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Issue 5/2020: Juggling a Pandemic

Issue 5/2020 of New Eastern Europe brings stories and analysis on how countries of the region are affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

September 7, 2020 - New Eastern Europe - Issue 5 2020MagazineNew Eastern Europe

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The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed limitations and weaknesses in nearly all countries around the world, with the region of Eastern Europe being no exception. The latest issue of New Eastern Europe brings to our readers some of the untold stories on how countries of our region are managing (or not) the consequences of the coronavirus. These consequences include: political, economic and social.

Each country has been hit differently and their responses to COVID-19 also varies. Yet, from the stories in this issue we get an overall picture of just how the coronavirus has become an element in the difficult reality of the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.

The issue opens with a look at the situation in Belarus, which has seen an unprecedented level of protests following the August 9th presidential election. Author Maxim Rust discusses the context of the protests and why the society has been pushed to its limits. The issue then looks at the case of Russia and its management of COVID-19. Oleg Buklemishev discusses the long-lasting economic consequences, while Maria Domańskalooks at how the authorities are using the pandemic as a means to increase digital surveillance of society. The issue further presents stories from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. Our authors also take a look at how the pandemic has affected regional migrant workers – for example, Ukrainians in Poland; or Central Europeans in Western Europe.

Another key section of the issue provides readers with an up-to-date analysis of the current state of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership programme in a special section titled: “Beyond 2020. What’s next for the Eastern Partnership”. This section was done in co-operation with the Lublin-based Institute of Central Europe.

Other developments covered in the issue include:

– Alina Aleshchenko’s article on the “Theatre Case” in Russia, with the arrest and sentencing of Kirill Serebrennikov;

– Russia’s controversial constitutional reform which allows Vladimir Putin to stay in power almost indefintiely’;

– An interview with Ihor Poshyvailo, director of the new Maidan Museum in Kyiv;

– much, much more.

Table of Contents

Juggling a Pandemic. Managing (or not) COVID-19 and its consequences

The election that changed Belarus Maxim Rust
Coronavirus pandemic seriously challenges Russian economy Oleg Buklemishev
Russian digital authoritarianism at the time of COVID-19 Maria Domańska
The pandemic’s toll on LvivKatarzyna Łoza
Hardly a Georgian dream. Confronting COVID-19 in the midst of an election yearMackenzie Baldinger
The cost of saving Europe’s asparagus harvest Alexandra Wishart
Even before the pandemic, we have been living in isolationMarina Shupac
Will China’s facemask diplomacy pay off? Jakub Bornio
Picking strawberries in a pandemicMagdalena Chodownik and Omar Marques

Opinion and Analysis

The art of constitutional seduction. The 2020 case of Russia Oleksandr Marusiak
A triumphant referendum? Olga Irisova
In Church we trust. The case of the Moldovan Orthodox Church Anastasia Pociumban
Dirigisme 2.0. The way to go for the region? Michael Richter and Jakub A. Bartoszewski

Beyond 2020. What’s next for the Eastern Partnership.

The Eastern Partnership. Between fundamentals and integration Katarina Mathernova and Kataryna Wolczuk
Zelenskyy’s Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership Hanna Bazhenova and Tomasz Stępniewski
Georgia and the EU need to stay focused on integration Nugzar Kokhreidze
A reality check for Moldova-EU relations Oktawian Milewski
Failed Expectations? Belarus and the Eastern Partnership Veranika Laputska
EU-Armenia co-operation at a crossroads Hasmik Grigoryan
Eastern Partnership and Azerbaijan. Balancing values and interests Rashad Shirinov


Memory should be directed at the future. An interview with Ihor Poshyvailo

Art, Culture and Society

How an absurd legal case turned into a fight for the future of Russian theatre Alina Aleshchenko
Armenia’s track record on criminalising domestic violence  Valentina Gevorgyan

History and Memory

The challenge of commemoration. Cases from Poland and Germany  Kristina Smolijaninovaitė


Husband, father, war criminal. Chasing the memory of a Nazi fugitive across Europe Maria Suchcitz
Save us all from the liberty, Emperor! Grzegorz Szymborski
Addressing politics and stereotypes through theatre (during a pandemic) Kamil Jarończyk and Nataliya Parshchyk

This issue of New Eastern Europe is co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the framework of the “Public Diplomacy 2020 – New dimension” grant programme.

The special section “Beyond 2020. What’s next for the Eastern Partnership” is done in co-operation with the Institute of Central Europe (IEŚ)


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