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Author: Adam Reichardt

What to watch in Estonia’s upcoming local elections

The 2021 Estonian local elections will be unprecedentedly fractured and may portend major changes to the small northern European nation’s electorate. Despite the rhetoric, most campaigns seek to address everyday concerns.

October 15, 2021 - Samuel Kramer

A guideline to Belarusian repressive methods. Dealing with structural roots of dissent

The 2020 mass protests took place thanks to a vibrant private sector that produced a highly-skilled, well-paid urban class not tied to Lukashenka’s social contract. Lukashenka response can be seen partly in his Soviet upbringing and political career which produced a worldview not devoid of class-based categories. Thus, he attacked the means that sustain the existence of the opposition, with an approach reminiscent of Stalin’s policies towards kulaks.

September 28, 2021 - German Carboni

Duma non-elections. A carnival of dirty tricks

The course of this year's Russian State Duma elections demonstrates that the Kremlin has finally abandoned the pseudo-democratic game of appearances. In the coming years, a further tightening of the screws is likely. However, instead of complete control over the political system, the government may face a radicalisation of the social protest mood.

September 27, 2021 - Maria Domańska

What is the final destination for Ukraine’s NATO/EU path?

Prior to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the White House, there were a number of statements, innuendos and high hopes. Lots of efforts were taken by the Ukrainian side to have this long-awaited meeting happen despite current geopolitical challenges. But how is Ukraine prepared to access NATO/EU structures now? Will this meeting have a positive impact for Ukraine on its Euro-Atlantic integration path?

September 23, 2021 - Christine Karelska Pavlo Vugelman

The Titanic is sinking. Is this the end of the Putin-Lukashenka tandem?

The relationship between the two longest-serving European presidents has always been riddled with not-so-inconspicuous power-wrestling, wrapped in a narrative of brotherhood and sprinkled with cosy photo-ops. Up until recently, both leaders enjoyed relative stability on their own political turf, allowing them to manage their bilateral relations from positions of strength.

September 22, 2021 - Agnieszka Widłaszewska

Bulgaria’s media jungle: the good, the bad and the ugly

The media landscape in Bulgaria seems grim at the moment – oversaturated with tabloids and politically-slanted, oligarchic-owned outlets. The few independent and professional journalists face harassment and prosecution. Boyko Borissov’s recent fall from power gives some hope that things may change in the long run. However, there are a few caveats.

September 21, 2021 - Radosveta Vassileva

The Thalerhof internment camp and its legacy for the Rusyns of Eastern Europe

Lemko-Rusyn intellectuals, community leaders, and villagers would perish at the camp established by Austrian authorities on the site of the modern-day Graz Airport.

September 15, 2021 - Starik Pollock

Journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession in Georgia

Media freedom in Georgia has had a turbulent history. It is worth remembering the raid on the Imedi TV station by special forces and its closure during the Saakashvili era, or the year-long dispute over ownership rights of Rustavi 2. However, there has never been a simultaneous physical attack on over 50 media employees like the one on July 5th. Is the freedom of speech under serious threat in Georgia?

September 14, 2021 - Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

Issue 5/2021: Belarusians. One year in protest

Now available! Issue 5/2021 of New Eastern Europe. This special issue aims to honour the plight of Belarusians whose democratic choice made in August 2020 was shamelessly snubbed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

September 13, 2021 - New Eastern Europe

It is our duty to bring our fight to a victorious end

An interview with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of democratic Belarus. Interviewer: Paulina Siegień

PAULINA SIEGIEŃ: Your life has dramatically changed over the last year. These changes took place even earlier when your husband, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, decided he would run for president. We all know what took place afterwards. What was the most important lesson that you have learnt as a result of all that has happened?

SVIATLANA TSIKHANOUSKAYA: My life has been in constant change for over the last year and a half. At first, Siarhei decided to run for president, then he was arrested so that he could not submit necessary documents to register with the election committee, which included collecting signatures for his candidacy. My husband gave me these documents along with the power of attorney in case something happened. Nevertheless, the Belarusian election commission did not accept these documents from me and challenged my power of attorney, saying that the candidate must come and sign in person. That is why on the following day, I decided to submit these documents myself, meaning, on my own behalf.

September 12, 2021 - Paulina Siegień Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

One year on. What has changed in Belarus?

The 2020 elections took place in the middle of a pandemic, dismissed by the president as a "psychosis". They were the first elections to be contested by other sectors of the Belarusian elite. Since that day, the situation has changed. Over 38,000 people have been arrested, and over 500 have been declared political prisoners. Peaceful protesters, peaking in numbers at around 250,000 in Minsk but significant in all cities, have been arrested, tortured and in several cases, murdered. What comes next remains an open question.

On August 9th 2021, Alyaksandr Lukashenka held a press conference to discuss the events of the previous year. It was attended by both local and foreign journalists. The de facto leader of Belarus fielded questions in his own style and according to his own perceptions – or stated perceptions – of the world. He expressed his views on the so-called All-Belarusian People's Assembly, on the change of president in the United States and in general about the West's vendetta against his rule, as well as the attacks on his security forces by protesters.

September 12, 2021 - David Marples

Repressions reveal the ruthlessness of the Lukashenka regime

Since August last year, the Belarusian regime under Alyaksandr Lukashenka has instituted a system of repressions which is unprecedented for Europe in the second decade of the 21st century. By the end of July this year there were 604 political prisoners in Belarus, the total number of those imprisoned after August 9th 2020 is estimated at more than 35,000. Thirty-two Belarusian journalists are currently in custody, either awaiting trial or serving their sentences.

For more than 25 out of its 30 years of independence, Belarus has been a country governed by a sophisticated state-run system of repressions. Yet since last year’s presidential elections, these repressions lost their sophistication and reached a different level in terms of quantity and “quality”. There are at least three perspectives to consider when examining what is happening in Belarus since August 9th 2020.

September 12, 2021 - Stephan Malerius

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