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Stories about Eastern & Central Europe

Belarusians mourn the death of young opposition supporter

The 31-year-old Roman Bondarenka was the fourth person killed since protests began over the results of August's presidential election. As they mourn, Belarusians fear that they could share his fate.

The history of the Sarajevo Haggadah, the medieval Jewish book that survived the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and the Yugoslav Wars

When Nazi Germany occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Haggadah was hidden at the mosque of a Muslim village in the Bjelašnica Mountain, where it remained until the end of the...

In the heart of Europe, an endangered Turkic language lives on

The dwindling Karaim language was once spoken across eastern Europe. Now its last stronghold is a fortress town in Lithuania — and Romuald Čaprockij one of its most ardent defenders

European Court of Human Rights verdict vindicates Macedonian columnist convicted of defamation in 2010

"This verdict is important for Macedonian journalists, columnists, and overall, for the people that appear in public, as it encourages them to be principled, honest, brave and persistent."

In the Balkans, COVID-19 measures may not apply to religious leaders

A bishop's funeral in Montenegro last week drew thousands of maskless mourners.

A new magazine tells chilling stories from Russia's remote regions

Over the year since it was founded, the award-winning Holod Media has captivated Russian audiences with its longform stories on inequality and injustice in regions poorly covered by federal media.

In the heat of political crisis, Belarus launches first nuclear power plant

Next month, the Astravets nuclear power plant commences operation with fanfare. But in a country which suffered greatly from the Chernobyl disaster, not everybody shares the government's optimism.

The importance of ‘unlearning’ the past: Interview with Balkans expert Keith Brown

"Critical thinking [...] liberates us from the illusion that figures in the past imagined their own identity in terms of the nationalisms of their future."

From Belarus to Thailand, Hong Kong’s spirit of resistance is nurturing grassroots protests elsewhere

While Hong Kong protests have influenced organisational and protest tactics in anti-authoritarian movements abroad, the current wave of grassroots uprisings, in turn, prompts Hongkongers to develop a transnational solidarity.

Russia's indigenous peoples are in the crosshairs of COVID-19

A raft of social and environmental issues makes indigenous peoples of Russia's Far North uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19 — many of these, say activists, are linked to resource extraction.

In Belarus, tech workers fear for their industry’s future

Longtime Belarusian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka boasts that he has created a "paradise" for Belarusian IT. So why are young tech workers protesting against him — or even moving their businesses...

Who is selling Ukrainians’ personal data online and for what purposes?

A trove of Ukrainians'' personal data available online as a consequence of leaks or illegal sale creates ripe conditions for targeted dissemination of malicious content ahead of October 25 local...

#AnswerUsElonMusk: Russia's indigenous peoples campaign against Arctic pollution

An oil spill in May devastated large swathes of the tundra. Here's how indigenous rights activists joined forces to demand justice from the culprit — Russia's largest nickel producer.

In the Ural regions of Russia, Finland's linguistic roots live on

Russia's linguistic diversity is as expansive as the country itself. The Finnish writer Ville Ropponen shares his reflections on the past, present and uncertain future of the Uralic languages.

Facebook to include Holocaust denial in its definition of banned hate speech

Human rights organizations and academic institutions praised Facebook's decision to address Holocaust denial and related conspiracy theories through enhanced self-regulation.

After three months of anti-government protests in Bulgaria, what’s at stake?

A prominent politician treated a public beach as his private property. Now, broad public demonstrations demanding the total overhaul of a corrupt political system.

Serbian government first flaunts, then denies having sold weapons to both Armenia and Azerbaijan

Mixed messages by President Aleksandar Vučić may be an attempt not to antagonise close partners Russia and Turkey.

‘The war in Karabakh has made the possibility of conflict resolution even more distant’, fears Armenian politician Mikayel Zolyan

Negotiations can start only once aggression against civilians stops. However, war has widened the gap between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, and therefore for dialogue, says Armenian MP and analyst Mikayel Zolyan

‘The house search was the last straw': colleagues react to Russian journalist’s death

On October 2, Russian journalist Irina Slavina died in Nizhny Novgorod, the city to which she dedicated her life. Here, Slavina’s colleagues pay homage to a courageous journalist.

‘We have a strange destiny': a conversation with the Livonian poet Valts Ernštreits: Part II

"That's the idea of the series: to tell the Livonian story to the Latvian public, so they would better understand why Livonian is important."

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