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Author: Adam Reichardt

“Together” or separate? The Belarusian political elite after the elections

The ruling elite in Belarus is no longer the monolith that it portrayed itself as a few months ago. There are more and more splits and cracks in its structure, which in the long run may lead to a serious internal crisis. This group is losing its grip on control and even reality.

September 17, 2020 - Maxim Rust

Along with Swab Germans in Georgia

The year 2017 marked the 200th anniversary since the first German settlers (mainly Wurttemberg Swabs) showed up in Georgia. A number of factors contributed to this migration. However, Wurttemberg’s internal affairs, such as constant warring conditions, increased taxes and economic hardship, played major roles. Moreover, the increased discontent towards the Lutheran church strengthened religious protests that sent the population searching for new homes. Even though, the Swab presence ended by the hands of those who had originally invited them, and much of its historical remains have been conquered by nature, their legacy continues to capture people’s hearts and minds in Georgia.

September 16, 2020 - Bacho Chubinidze

“Freedom for Tofiq Yaqublu”. The price of political opposition

Tofiq Yaqublu, the Azerbaijani opposition leader and prisoner of conscience, started a hunger strike demanding the reversal of his recent prison sentence. This is a desperate cry for justice in a country where everything depends on the whim of the president.

September 16, 2020 - Anna Zamejc

Diplomacy is not The Apprentice: Serbia-Kosovo issue requires a long-term commitment

The Trump Administration’s Serbia-Kosovo agreement may achieve short-term successes, but it could also result in long-term negative consequences for the two adversaries.

September 15, 2020 - Leon Hartwell

Solidarity with Belarus. What can we do?

Belarusians have broken through decades of fear, and the demonstrations will continue against all odds. What can Europe do to help them end the authoritarian regime?

September 15, 2020 - Anastasiia Starchenko New Eastern Europe

Kosovo-Serbia Summit at the White House: What was it all about?

The so-called "economic normalisation deal" between Kosovo and Serbia was exploited by President Trump to further his foreign policy objectives in the Middle East.

September 14, 2020 - Visar Xhambazi

Belarusians have created a new sense of self-identity

An Interview with Anaïs Marin, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus (OHCHR). Interviewer: Anastasiia Starchenko.

September 14, 2020 - Anaïs Marin Anastasiia Starchenko

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

The election that changed Belarus

The August 9th presidential election has become a critical event for both the Belarusian society and the ruling elite. The election saw the breakdown of traditional divides between the government and a decades-old political opposition. New players have presented themselves as an alternative to the existing system and have shown themselves to be capable of amassing an unprecedented level of public support.

On August 9th, a consequential presidential election took place in Belarus. A few months prior, there was no indication that this year's campaign would be radically different from any previous one. Everyone had assumed that the regime would simply register a few opposition candidates with no chance. After a typically uneventful campaign, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka would then claim another "elegant victory". Perhaps a few protests were expected, alongside expressions of “deep concern” from the European Union and the United States. Belarusian political life would soon return to “normal” following the announcement of the results.

September 7, 2020 - Maxim Rust

Coronavirus pandemic seriously challenges Russian economy

A combination of socio-economic factors observed in Russia not only indicates that the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the country's economy will be profound, but that the recovery might take longer than it appears today. Much will depend on the authorities’ readiness to support household incomes and business activity through accumulated reserves and borrowings.

Russia has approached the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic with the economy not in great condition. Back in 2010-2012 the Russian economy was growing faster than the world economy. Yet since then, its global share has fallen by about one-fifth. In 2014, following the events in Ukraine, the Russian economy suffered a double blow as a result of lower oil prices and the impact of sanctions imposed on it by the United States, the European Union and a number of other countries.

September 7, 2020 - Oleg Buklemishev

Russian digital authoritarianism at the time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly accelerated the use of digital surveillance technologies in Russia which had been planned earlier but tested only on a limited scale. Their increased use by the state will not end with the pandemic, but will determine the “new normal” where civil liberties are restricted more than ever before.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a classic example of an extraordinary situation which adds to the discussion regarding the ideal balance between public security and civil liberties. As expected, in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, security has been treated as a pretext to expand the state’s authority at the cost of individuals’ rights. The pandemic has been a catalyst which accelerates and expands implementation of advanced digital technologies that are aimed to tighten the authoritarian hold over society. The authorities use them to monitor the citizens, manipulate behaviour, coerce people into political loyalty and to repress the opposition.

September 7, 2020 - Maria Domańska

The pandemic’s toll on Lviv

Lvivians have much in common with Italians. They enjoy the company of others and lead social lives. They cannot live without coffee and gossip, and they gladly start conversations with strangers. Maybe this is why we have the highest infection rates in Ukraine.

I live in Lviv, where I work as a tour guide. I tell people stories. Today I have a story to share with you. It is about Lviv, Ukraine and guided tours in the time of coronavirus. The pandemic did not come to us unexpectedly. After all, we had been watching the news. It did, however, come suddenly, like a wave that covered the entire tourist sector and beyond. On March 9th, I was returning to Lviv from a weekend away in the mountains. Life was going on as usual. That day I picked up an advance payment for a hotel group stay that was planned for June. I also received an e-mail informing me of a cancelled a trip scheduled for March 21st. This request surprised me and seemed unfounded at the time. After all, we only had one confirmed case of coronavirus in all of Ukraine!

September 7, 2020 - Katarzyna Łoza

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