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Stories about Eastern & Central Europe

Armenia and Azerbaijan pledge progress as leaders meet in Sochi

Commenting on the meeting, Russian president Vladimir Putin said the leaders reached agreements on some of the key issues and that the meeting was overall positive.

Making Turkish music in Hungary: Can this be a ‘Nasip Kısmet’ moment?

How fortunate is it to be able to play Turkish folk songs in Hungary, despite the anti-immigrant, Christian-values agenda of the prime minister, Victor Orbán.

Invisible scars result from patriarchal tolerance of gender-based violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Due to the deep-rooted patriarchal structure of society in Bosnia and Herzegovina, domestic violence is often perceived as a corrective measure of the strong over the weak family members.

An impossible task: Serbia on the European path, hand in hand with Russia and China

Serbia keeps touting the country’s progress in aligning itself with EU foreign policy, but real gains won’t happen with Kosovo on the agenda. 

Poland reinforces border with Belarus as migrant crisis escalates

The EU had previously accused Belarus' Lukashenka of flying in migrants from the MENA region and South Asia and bringing them to the EU's borders to retaliate against sanctions.

Political and social crises to blame for the ‘COVID-19 disaster’ in Bulgaria

"Instead of creating a unified campaign to explain the situation and why it is important for people to be vaccinated, politicians ... are competing in their silence and dubious statements"

Belarus authorities block access to more independent media added to extremist list

The websites of Deutsche Welle, Current Time and the employees and readers of BelsatTV and NEXTA are the latest targets in Belarus' ongoing crackdown on independent media and free expression.

North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev resigns after defeat in local elections

Pro-ЕU Social Democrat Zaev had previously promised that he would resign if his party failed to retain the mayoralty of the capital Skopje.

What can we expect from Russia at COP26?

As COP26 continues, Open Democracy asks experts whether the Kremlin’s latest moves on climate, including its 2060 net-zero target, heralds genuine change or more greenwash.

After attack on LGBTI community center in Sofia, Bulgarian activists and mainstream politicians condemn right-wing extremist violence

A neo-Nazi affiliated paramilitary group ransacked the Rainbow Hub LGBTI support center in Sofia, assaulting female activist Gloria Filipova days after the Constitutional Court annulled the Istanbul Convention ratification.

Publishing house removes section on transgender individuals from Russian translation of teen health book

According to the publisher, Belaya Vorona, making the book available to Russian teenagers was more important that "preserving the deleted information".

Cats, crows and planet Earth: drawings by Belarusian political prisoners

Drawings sent to friends and family by Belarusian political prisoners, detained in a crackdown after the 2020 elections, provide an insight into their lives.

We need ‘painless’ glucose monitors, says Mia Chichkarikj, a 16-year-old diabetes patient from North Macedonia

“This should be a plea to the authorities at the Ministry of Health, to take our needs for 'painless' glucose monitors seriously and to provide them as soon as possible.”

‘I wrote the book you all wish you had when you were 15,’ says Afroczech Obonete Ubam

Czech Nigerian activist and writer Obonete Ubam interviewed ten prominent Afroczechs in his latest book, to talk about discrimination, integration and role models for an emerging community in the Czech...

Between two borders: you can’t get through

By offering its territory as a transit zone, Belarus created a problem for the EU and a financial opportunity for itself, charging refugees for Belarusian visas.

In Belarus, subscribing to Telegram channels branded as ‘extremist’ may now get users in trouble

While it's not clear whether the Belarusian police will actually be able to dispense prison terms, "nobody can be sure" they won't be criminally charged for subscribing to Telegram channels.

Turkey and Armenia ready to ‘normalize relations’ after nearly 30 years

Almost three decades later, Turkey is now considering reopening its border with Armenia. The border has been closed since 1993.

Combatting stereotypes: The need to recognize male victims of wartime sexual violence in Bosnia

According to testimony, the systematic scope and nature of conflict-related sexual violence against men demonstrate that it was an instrument of ethnic cleansing through the destruction of families and communities.

Ukraine’s trans-border transplant quandary

Going abroad for organ transplants is common in Ukraine, but the logistics are tricky. But a new law and enthusiastic regional doctors could make a national transplant system a reality.

Why are Czech elites being captured by Beijing narratives? 

The ties between outgoing president Zeman as well as economic relationships over the past few years, especially in the media, raise concerns about the public narrative around Sino-Czech relations.

About our Eastern & Central Europe coverage

Tanya Lokot is the Eastern Europe editor. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.

Filip Stojanovski is the Central Europe editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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