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Tag: Eastern Europe

A Eurovision party with CEE

The 2024 edition of the largest European musical event of its kind placed a spotlight on popular music in Central and Eastern Europe.

May 16, 2024 - Arkadiusz Zając

Hazards to Georgia’s foreign policy: A strategic partnership with China?

The latest shift in Georgia's foreign policy, marked by the signing of a strategic agreement with China, raises further concerns about the country’s trajectory towards the European Union and NATO. By engaging more with China, Tbilisi is also helping Russia fulfil its aim to decouple Georgia from the West.

In July 2023, the relationship between Georgia and China grabbed the spotlight of global attention – the two countries decided to elevate their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership and signed a subsequent agreement. Although deepening relations between sovereign states is not out of the ordinary in foreign affairs, critical questions about this particular event are looming over the horizon.

November 20, 2023 - Nino Lezhava

Curbing China’s sway in Eastern Europe

In the evolving landscape of international relations, it has become increasingly clear that the US and Europe must join forces to address China's growing influence in Eastern Europe. The recent Russian aggression against Ukraine has reshaped regional dynamics and intensified the global struggle for power and influence.

The Russian full-scale aggression against Ukraine had an evident impact on regional and global ties in Eastern Europe. While Russia was seeking opportunities to attract more allies in its war of aggression, like Iran and North Korea, its major objective internationally was to create an alliance with China. However, China sees the Russia-Ukraine war as an opportunity to change the status quo and raise the stakes to outlast the United States economically and militarily.

November 20, 2023 - Vladyslav Faraponov

Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest

Ukraine’s recent Eurovision victory has shown the world its vibrant music industry. This is especially true given the ongoing Russian invasion, with the contest providing a platform for the country to promote its own unique identity.

May 19, 2022 - Arkadiusz Zając

Nothing but a Curtain

I travelled 7325 km across the former Eastern Bloc to document post-communist gender identity.

December 30, 2021 - Zula Rabikowska

Legacies of the real and imagined Soviet Union 1991–2021

Over the past 30 years, Soviet legacies have persisted in many former Soviet republics and it remains unclear under what conditions they will disappear. Furthermore, the various real and artificially created images of the Soviet Union seem to reinforce each other.

Thirty years have passed since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. The majority of those born immediately after the end of the USSR have already completed their education, joined the labour force and started a family. As a result, it appears less and less appropriate to refer to countries like Armenia, Kazakhstan or Ukraine as “post-Soviet” countries. Does this mean, however, that we can forget about the Soviet past while trying to understand the political, economic, cultural and social realities in countries that were once part of the USSR? Overall, the legacy of the Soviet Union appears to be more durable and complex than one would expect.

December 1, 2021 - Alexander Libman Anastassia Obydenkova

A History of Europe Fraught in Contradictions: 1989–2021

The peaceful revolutions of 1989 created a new Europe. This Europe is threatened to be lost today – 30 years later. Within the European continent national intolerance and the use of violence are part of everyday life. Politics is becoming more and more intransparent. Are there chances for change? Anyone who subscribes to the values of the Enlightenment is always at the beginning.

On New Year’s Eve 1989 I was standing on Wenceslas Square, Prague, in the midst of a crowd of hundreds of thousands. We were celebrating the country’s recently won freedom and chanted “Václav Havel to the Hradčany” – as president. Only four years earlier, I had been arrested and expelled from the country due to my contacts with civil rights activists. Later, I was in Poland and kneeled at the grave of Jerzy Popiełuszko, the priest who had been murdered by members of the secret police in 1984. In 1988 and 1989 I lived for many months in perestroika Moscow and there, at the very centre of the Soviet empire, I witnessed an exhilarating freedom movement across all countries of the “Warsaw Pact”.

December 1, 2021 - Wolfgang Eichwede

Belarusian: An extremist language?

In 2008 the Belarusian ministry of information launched a list of extremist materials that are officially banned in the country. Symbolically, the item which opens this list is a CD-ROM disc ostensibly with the recording of a lesson of the Belarusian language. No more details are provided, though some say this entry refers to the 2006 documentary film on the rigged 2006 presidential election. One way or another, what irks the Belarusian government most is the Belarusian language.

October 11, 2021 - Tomasz Kamusella

Covering up tragedy and the myth of the Great Patriotic War

As the successor state to the Soviet Union, Russia’s great power status is arguably dependent on the legacy of the Great Victory and a sense of moral superiority. Any challenges to Russia’s status as victor and liberator in the Second World War, including an overemphasis on the Soviet Union’s failures or the high number of deaths, could potentially damage Russia’s sense of identity and geopolitical ambitions.

September 30, 2021 - Jade McGlynn

Redefining US strategy in the region

The time has come to strengthen Euro-Atlantic unity on its Eastern flank. A new US-led strategy should be aimed towards redrawing the line between Europe and Eurasia and to send a signal that the transatlantic community and the region of Central and Eastern Europe can be truly united, and that America is back.

The tenacity shown by President Joe Biden’s administration in their attempts to restore unity in the West has made others quickly forget all the tensions within the transatlantic community during Donald Trump’s four years. It is not only interesting to follow all the steps being taken by the new US administration, they also inspire optimism and confidence, creating expectations of geopolitical momentum. However, the consolidation of the West seems a far more complicated matter than previously thought.

September 12, 2021 - Dmytro Tuzhanskyi

Ukraine deserves better analysis than it has

An interview with Cédric Gras, French writer and former director of Alliance Française in Donetsk. Interviewer: Clémence Lavialle

CLÉMENCE LAVIALLE: Could you tell me how it happened that you started your career in Russia?

CÉDRIC GRAS: Well, I never had a clear career plan. Therefore, I started my professional life by doing what I had always wanted to do – travelling and climbing mountains. I was able to make a decent life out of it. But to make a living out of it, I knew that I had to tell a story through reports, writings, and photographs. In this way, I try to show the world in different forms: academic and more artistic. I try to tell the story of today's world.

September 12, 2021 - Cédric Gras Clémence Lavialle

Where is Eastern Europe heading?

A review of Eastern Europe since 1989. Between Loosened Authoritarianism and unconsolidated democracy. By: Mykola Riabchuk. Publisher, Studium Europy Wschodniej, Warsaw University, Warsaw, 2020.

September 12, 2021 - Maryana Prokop

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