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· January, 2009

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from January, 2009

Russia: Putin in Davos

  31 January 2009

Leopolis writes about Putin's appearance at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos: “Despite being lost in translation, the Putin-Dell exchange illustrates the fact that Russia and the West are speaking at two completely different wavelengths, if not from two completely different planets.”

Russia: Diarchy

  31 January 2009

Robert Coalson of RFE/RL's The Power Vertical muses on the state of the Russian “diarchy.”

Latvia: Protest and Changes

  31 January 2009

Baltic writes about political changes taking place in Latvia due to the crisis. Free Speech Emergency in Latvia posts a video from a silent protest in Riga.

Latvia: “Beginning to Smell Like the 90s”

  31 January 2009

All About Latvia writes that “it’s hard not to notice that it is beginning to smell like the 90s”: “In the last week, strangers asked me three times for some changes to buy a tram ticket. Usually, asking for a smoke, or some change is used as a way to...

Czech Republic: Jobless Foreign Laborers

  31 January 2009

The Czech Daily Word writes about the situation with several thousand foreign workers in the Czech Republic, who have lost their jobs and are now stuck in the country: “And according to a friend of mine from the Foreign Ministry, a calculation is being made, as to what is cheaper:...

Russia: Moscow Riot Cops vs Garbage Container

  31 January 2009

LJ user trashman_2009, a Greenpeace activist, posts pictures of himself dressed as a green garbage container, being dragged away by Moscow riot police after a failed attempt to get an appointment with the Moscow mayor and talk to him about recycling (RUS).

Russia: Medvedev on Markelov's Murder

  30 January 2009

RFE/RL's The Power Vertical, Robert Amsterdam's Blog, and Sean's Russia Blog comment on Dmitry Medvedev's remarks about the murders of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova in Moscow last week.

Russia: Putin's Response to Dell

  30 January 2009

Eternal Remont and Scraps of Moscow comment on Vladimir Putin's response to the Dell Computer founder at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Ukraine: KGB Archive

  30 January 2009

Sean's Russia Blog writes this about Ukraine's plans “the entire KGB archive dating 1917-1991″: “These materials will certainly be employed in the further crafting of Ukraine’s ‘imagined community’ of victimization by, rather than a participant in, the Soviet regime. Sadly, using these documents for this purpose has little to do...

Moldova: A “Stable” Economy

  30 January 2009

Moldova's economy has been declared “well-protected […] from the slowdown” by London-based magazine The Banker. Eternal Remont comments: “This one gets filed under, ‘I've been down so long it looks like up to me’.”

Poland: Maanam

  30 January 2009

the POLSKI blog writes about Maanam, a Polish band that, in the early 1980s, was “the epitome of cool, largely thanks to their unique sound and the distinctive voice and fiery personality of their lead singer, Kora.”

Latvia: Snap Election?

  30 January 2009

All About Latvia thinks the country is “heading for snap elections” and this may be a good thing: “While the IMF sees an election as a liability because it ushers in an uncertain future, for the people of Latvia an election under new updated election laws appears to be a...

EU: Investing in Ukraine's Gas Pipeline?

  29 January 2009

Wu Wei quotes a Kyiv Post editorial, which urges the EU to consider investing in Ukraine's gas pipeline system, and posts this comment: “But on what terms will this be offered? Will the EU (or the corporation it says it will set up for pipelines) enter into a bidding war...

Cuba: Raul in Russia

  29 January 2009

Child of the Revolution, Una Familia en Cuba [Sp] and Havana Times all blog about Cuban President Raul Castro's official visit to Russia.

Russia: Conscript Seeks Asylum in Georgia

  29 January 2009

Aleksandr Glukhov, a 21-year-old Russian conscript, has asked for asylum in the Republic of Georgia to escape the "unbearable conditions" in the Russian army. One of Glukhov's media appearances took place as he was dining at a McDonald's restaurant in Tbilisi. Russian officials claim that Glukhov was captured by Georgian armed forces in South Ossetia, where he was performing his compulsory military service, and taken to the Georgian capital. Quite a few people in Russia seem to consider Glukhov "a traitor." Below are some of the reactions from the Russophone blogosphere.

About our Eastern & Central Europe coverage

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

Roman Shemakov is the Eastern Europe editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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