Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from August, 2005
Blog Day 2005
Blog Day 2005 is making waves throughout the global blogosphere. The one-day celebration, which encourages bloggers to introduce their readers to five new weblogs from other cultures or perspectives, has been adding nearly a page of relevant posts to Technorati every hour. Romanian blogger, Carmen Holotescu asks her readers to...
Ukraine: Materialist dialectic
Blog de Connard oozes sarcasm at attempts by Belgian singer-songwriter Michel Querriere to “avoid the materialist West” in the Ukrainian capital.
Romania: News from Baton Rouge
Romanian blogger George Popescu posts an account from a former fellow student of her experiences as Hurricane Katrina hit Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the town where she now studies.
Russia: Cultural imperialism rivals Disney
Neeka ponders Russia's answer to Walt Disney after seeing a girl in Turkey sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with the cartoon character Masyanya.
Uzbekistan cuts off gas to Kyrgyzstan
Uzbekistan has cut off contracted supplies of natural gas to Kyrgyzstan, blogs Laurence at Registan, a move Kyrgyz officials see as motivated by their government's rescue of 439 Uzbek refugees following violence in the Uzbek city of Andijan in late July. A comment on this post offers another perspective.
Turkmenistan: All your base?
Registan speculates that the U.S. government is now trying Turkmenistan as a possible location for a Central Asian airbase, after being evicted from Uzbekistan.
Armenia: Grandiose subway
Naeri posts a series of photos at Flickr of the Soviet-style and rather grand Armenian subway, on the way to an underground bazaar.
Poland: The women of Solidarity
PolNews has a feature article on the women (“Where are they now?”) at the heart of the Solidarity trade union movement of 1980 in Poland, which eventually toppled the Soviet-backed communist regime.
Russia: Poetry in popular culture
The Russian Dilettante blogs about Vera Lynn, Pink Floyd and taking popular song lyrics seriously in time of war.
Nagorno Karabakh: A murky independence
Marmot Power blogs from the disputed–between Armenia and Azerbaijan–territory of Nagorno Karabakh , and anticipates the merger of the quasi-independent republic into Armenia.
Azerbaijan: ‘Cloned’ candidates
Marianna examines the phenomenon of ‘cloning’ candidates as nominations get under way for Azerbaijan's forthcoming general election in November.
Afghanistan: More women register to vote
More and more women, even in the war-torn southern provinces, are registering to vote in September's parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, reports Afghan Warrior.
Estonia: Anniversary of pact
Shaan at Bonjour L'Estonie remembers the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of August 66 years ago, which paved the way for more than half a century of Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, including the Baltic states.
Chechnya: Election monitoring
Chechnya War reports that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is planning to send election monitors to Chechnya for the parliamentary elections in late November.
Azerbaijan: Scenic Sumgayit
Carpetblogger posts photos of Sumgayit, Azerbaijan, which she describes as possibly the most polluted patch of real estate in the world, and a place where Mad Max would feel at home.
Armenia: Symphony of Silence
Oneworld Multimedia reviews an Armenian film, Symphony of Silence, and in doing so touches on issues affecting the aspirations of the Armenian diaspora and anyone who has suffered mental illness.
Afghanistan: Taliban killed
Sohrab Kabuli reports a statement from the Afghan defense ministry, which says that Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces killed 18 militants in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Uruzgan.
Freedom of Speech News
According to Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF), and Human Rights Watch, here are the latest developments on threats to Freedom of Speech over the past week: Tunisia: Government bans new journalists’ union from holding founding congress. RSF reports that the Tunisian government has decided to ban the Union of Tunisian Journalists...
Ukraine: Quality, not quantity
Dan McMinn at Orange Ukraine argues that quality is better than quantity when it comes to economic performance by the new Ukrainian government.
Kyrgyzstan: North-south alliance shaky
The strategic north-south political alliance which won a general election in March for Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiev and prime minister Feliks Kulov may already be under threat, blogs Laurence at Registan, citing analyst Ainura Choponkulova.
Armenia: Foreign minister in apology for son
Blogrel‘s Hovakim notes the apology of Armenian foreign minister Vartan Oskanian on behalf of his son, who injured a 25 year-old man while driving an official car in the capital, Yerevan. Yet the mea culpa leaves a sour taste, he concludes…