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Tag: Eastern Europe

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

From the unknown to the better known. Evolution of French thinking about Eastern Europe

Interview with Alexandra Goujon, a professor of political science at the University of Burgundy. Interviewer: Clémence Lavialle.

August 13, 2021 - Alexandra Goujon Clémence Lavialle

Joe Biden needs Eastern Europe as a success story

The European Union currently faces several domestic issues. It is still a union of member states, whose leaders have different approaches towards many challenges, and still has no common army or military strategy. That is why US engagement in the region is still necessary, just as it was in the 1990s after the fall of communism.

“America is back” – that is how Joe Biden began his speech regarding his foreign policy priorities. What does that mean for the world and Europe in particular? Since the Second World War, no US president has brought so much foreign policy expertise to the White House. Biden probably has the most significant international experience among current world leaders, and especially amongst American politicians.

April 11, 2021 - Vladyslav Faraponov

Redeeming Europe

In the first half of the 11th century, the Byzantine Empire, a global empire with the capital in Constantinople, had a territory which comprised of the lands that belong to today’s Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, Armenia and Crimea, as well as Syria and Italy. The Byzantine Empire, which played an important role in the Middle Ages, had contacts with Slavic countries and directly influenced the statehood and religious life in what today we call Eastern Europe.

Europe is an idea. Matter-of-factly, the European civilisation, as we call it today, had come into being before states and nations, its capricious children, were born. Throughout the ages, it matured, was formed and clashed with other civilisations. It learnt from them and shared its achievements with them. Finally, as a result of these clashes, as well as the less noticeable internal transformations, this concept has undergone numerous metamorphoses.

April 11, 2021 - Jacek Hajduk

2020’s electoral lessons: Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine

Recent elections in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine have proven that positive democratic changes are difficult to achieve but are still very possible. Even though oligarchs retain much of their power, political newcomers, civil society and the diaspora are turning into key players shaking up the status quo.

The political transformations that occurred in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine in the second half of 2020 will have long-lasting consequences on the democratic development of these critical countries in the region. Each of them has made qualitative steps forward, leaving behind more oligarchic-centric rules of the game.

February 3, 2021 - Denis Cenusa

Our common heritage

The region of today’s Central and Eastern Europe was mostly part of the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Its religion, writings, customs and traditions came from Byzantium rather than Rome. One exception is Poland, which was baptised in the western style and not by Cyril and Methodius. This fact, however, could be interpreted as the main cause of Poland’s great tragedy.

The world we came to live in today should not have come to us as a big surprise. Neither should the internal problems of the European Union, which, the late Polish science fiction writer, Stanisław Lem, even predicted some time ago. Earlier events such as the Arab Spring, or the weakening position of the United States, and Russia’s imperial aspirations should not have shocked us either.

November 17, 2020 - Jacek Hajduk

A Belarusian clash of civilizations

It can already be seen that in regards to today’s Belarusians the political and state identity dominates over an ethnic and national identity. The political nation is more adapted to the challenges that have emerged both in Belarus’s near region and around the world. This year’s protests show that for the common cause Belarusians can unite. Unquestionably, this unity is a new quality.

The protests that have been taking place in Belarus for over three months have now become widely covered by international media. Unfortunately, western media reports, in many cases, are not very specific and somewhat biased. Their publishers may opt for nice photographs of demonstrators carrying banners praising freedom and democracy, but do they capture the real changes taking place within Belarusian society?

November 17, 2020 - Maxim Rust

COVID-19 not to spare Eastern Europe from great power competition

Despite official pleasantries on overcoming COVID-19 together, the pandemic still has not instilled a spirit of good faith co-operation between global actors. The crisis, to the contrary, has accelerated, exacerbated, and laid bare rivalrous trends that pre-dated its existence. While there is little reason to hope that the countries of Eastern Europe will be spared from this competition of great powers, the changes will be less profound than it might first seem. Europe, Russia, China and the United States will, in particular, be the outside players to watch.

July 7, 2020 - Alena Kudzko

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