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Russia’s geopolitical greetings for 2020

In orthodox Russia, New Year's Eve precedes Christmas. The Julian calendar, still promoted by the religious authorities, sets Christmas at January 7th. In consequence, between December 24th and January 1st, when Europe and the United States are enjoying the pleasures of family gathering, Russia is still very much active.

January 6, 2020 - Cyrille Bret

What kind of Ukraine does Russia want?

The characteristics of the Russian state point to what it hopes to achieve with regards to Ukraine.

December 20, 2019 - Valerii Pekar

Five things to know in order to not freak out over the upcoming Putin-Lukashenka meeting

This weekend, the Union State of Russia and Belarus marks its 20th anniversary, which the authorities decided to celebrate with a supposedly historical meeting. Despite the prolonged history of the project, the Union State has never become a shadow of what it was meant to become upon its establishment.

December 6, 2019 - Yahor Azarkevich

Another chapter in the Belarusian-Russian integration process 

Interview with Anna Maria Dyner on the regional context of the upcoming meeting between presidents Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt.

December 6, 2019 - Anna Maria Dyner Iwona Reichardt

Identity politics is nothing new

A conversation with Francis Fukuyama, professor, writer and public intellectual. Interviewer: Maciej Makulski

November 13, 2019 - Francis Fukuyama Maciej Makulski

A cold summer in Russia. A new wave of repressions and the rise of solidarity

The scale of repression in Russia is now more serious and terrifying than in 2012. At the same time, the Russian public has become more mature and fearless. Independent groups of lawyers provide free legal advice, journalists and activists defend human rights, and various crowdfunding campaigns provide financial assistance to those detained. As a result, prisoners feel encouraged even when they face the brutality of the system.

This summer was marked with a series of unprecedented political protests in Moscow, which started on June 12th and finished on September 29th. First, Russian citizens demanded justice for investigative journalist, Ivan Golunov, who was absurdly charged with the possession of an illegal substance with intent to distribute. Golunov was released days after the charges as a result of pressure from journalists, human rights activists and protesters on the streets of Moscow.

November 13, 2019 - Artem Filatov

We want to transform Ukraine

A conversation with Sviatoslav Yurash, a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with the Servant of the People party. Interviewer: Kateryna Pryshchepa

KATERYNA PRYSHCHEPA: Can you tell us the story how you became an MP?

SVIATOSLAV YURASH: In February 2019 I joined Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his presidential run. It has a backstory, but I joined in February, and I have been with the president ever since. I think the president has his heart in the right place, and has the right team to put his mind in the right place – and the mind of the whole Ukrainian nation. And for me it was clear that a man like this could one, defeat Petro Poroshenko, and two, unite the Ukrainian nation. And that is what he has done.

November 13, 2019 - Kateryna Pryshchepa Sviatoslav Yurash

Slovakia’s new wave and its limits

The new Slovak president illustrates that an alternative to Central European populism is politically viable. But her power is tamed by constitutional limits and the lasting and deep political polarisation between liberal democrats and conservative nationalists. The latter can particularly bar her allies from building a stable government after the February 2020 parliamentary elections.

Three days before the June European Council meeting, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini was still against the target of reaching climate neutrality in 2050. But two days before the summit, Pellegrini met the new Slovak President and made a U-turn the very same day. He said Slovakia was in favour of the EU goal, steering away from the other countries in the Visegrad Group.

November 13, 2019 - Pavol Szalai

Authority without power?

In his electoral campaign Gitanas Nausėda presented himself as a peacemaker. He promised a new standard in Lithuanian politics, one without intrigue or fighting. He explained that problems can be solved with dialogue. During the campaign he tried to appeal to all voters, but the people do not want a president without an opinion.

It was May 26th, almost midnight, when it became clear who will take over Dalia Grybauskaitė’s chair as Lithuania’s president. Gitanas Nausėda stood on the stage in front of the presidential palace, together with his wife, and celebrated his victory. “Things will be different,” Nausėda said in his victory speech. It has been over two months since Nausėda’s inauguration and the question remains – what has changed in Lithuania? What changes does Nausėda want to bring about and does he have a power to change much at all?

November 13, 2019 - Liepa Želnienė

From revolution to politics

For almost a year, Armenia has been undergoing a process of state reforms. Expectations are high. However, despite some initial positive results, any true success is still distant. The problems faced by the state are systemic in nature and cannot be solved through revolution alone.

Elected in May of 2018, the government of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was in a honeymoon phase until the end of the year. At that time, it only had nine mandates in the 105-seat National Assembly which put any bigger reforms at risk of being blocked from moving forward. The situation changed in December with early parliamentary elections when the political alliance called My Step received a constitutional majority and now has the power to build, at least in theory, a “new Armenia”.

November 13, 2019 - Mateusz Kubiak

A hot summer in Georgia

Georgia has witnessed strong political tension over the last several months. Tbilisi Pride, anti-Russian and anti-government protests, trouble with the construction of the Anaklia sea port, resolving the ownership dispute of the country’s popular opposition TV channel Rustavi 2 and the change of prime minister. A year ahead of parliamentary elections, Georgian politics is shaken as the Georgian Dream decided to go on an all-out offensive aiming at electoral victory.

November 13, 2019 - Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

International justice on hold

It has been over five years since the conflict has broken out in Ukraine, which saw Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea as well as direct military support for separatism in Donbas. Yet little has been done to achieve justice for the civilian victims of these devastating events. Recent steps taken by the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court may indicate some slow progress ahead.

The inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, recent parliamentary elections and the formation of a new government have brought the question of justice back to the forefront of Ukrainian politics. Until now, little has been achieved in terms of ending impunity for criminal acts and human rights abuses perpetrated during the 2013-14 EuroMaidan and events in Crimea and Donbas.

November 13, 2019 - Quincy Cloet

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