Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from July, 2011
On July 29, Poland presented its final report on the 2010 Smolensk plane crash, in which 96 people died, including the then president of Poland Lech Kaczynski. While putting the major blame on the Polish pilot's error, the report also pointed at the fault of the defective lighting at Smolensk airport and Russian air controllers.
Michael Dembinski of W-wa Jeziorki instructs his readers on how to travel by night train in Poland and what to think of.
Juris Kaža of Failed State Latvia? argues why he thinks that Latvia is a failed state lite, and provides historical and socioeconomic reasons for his case.
LJ user grad46 (Maxim Petrovich) claims [ru] that several Russian opposition groups are funded by US-interests. Until recently an opposition activist himself, Petrovich publishes corroborating documentation, accuses several leading opposition activists of taking American money, and is interviewed [ru] on the issue by Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
LEvko of Foreign Notes follows up on the trial against former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Timoshenko, and finds that – despite a weak case – the process is likely to end with a guilty verdict for a number of political reasons.
Edmund Downie at Foreign Policy Passport reports that Russian president Dmitri Medvedev is much impressed by news agency's RIA-Novosti introduction of news in the form of musical rap info [ru].
Vadim Nikitin at Foreign Policy Association blog finds US Russia-policies of both the Democrats and the Republicans negative, after Russian ambassador Sergei Rogozin recently met with two US senators.
Yelena of Russian Blog addresses a few of the new Russian words adopted with the increasing popularity of science fiction in the 1990s.
The Pickle Project discusses a visit at one of the few remaining public stolovayas – soviet style lunch canteens – in Crimean city of Yalta.
Eva Balogh of Hungarian Spectrum writes about the situation of Roma in Hungary against the beckground of US-talks with representatives of the Roma group in the country.
Streetwise Professor comments on the Polish report about last year's plane crash that killed the country's president, and goes on to argue that, whereas Polish pilots where mostly to blame, Russian air-traffic control was probably also to blame.
Sleeping With Pengovsky posts an update about new developments in Slovenia's scandal over bribery in the Patria affaire concerning purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers from a Finnish company.
Hans Kristensen at FAS Strategic Security Blog commemorates the 20th anniversary of START 1, the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty beween the Soviet Union and the USA curtailing the number of nuclear missiles.
At Open Society Foundations’ Blog, an interview with Danica Radovanovic of Digital Serendipities, covering “various topics related to digital use, online social interactions, digital divide, social networks and young adults in Southeastern Europe” and the Balkans.
Today we announce the names of 10 Global Voices bloggers and 11 activists who will be working together virtually over the next months as part of a new mentoring initiative developed by Global Voices and Activista, the youth network of international development organization, ActionAid.
A few weeks ago, a new social campaign - Reading in Poland - was launched by one of Poland's largest daily newspapers due to the fact that reading rates in Poland are very low: one reports states that 56 percent of the Poles don't read books at all - and are also incapable of reading texts longer than 3 pages. A huge debate has started on the reading culture in Poland and the reasons for the crisis it is facing.
John Helmer of Dances With Bears reports that a Bulgarian government-imposed shutdown of the Lukoil-owned Burgas refinery threatens to create an oil crisis in the country, and goes on to describe the political game behind the crisis.
Vadim Nikitin at Foreign Policy Association observes that death tolls in Russia seem to rise during the summer, from terrorism, accidents, disasters and other reasons.
Edmund Downie at Foreign Policy Passport satirizes ongoing political campaigning in Russia for Putin and Medvedev, which play on sex and power.
Eva Balogh of Hungarian Spectrum reports on how US representatives are becoming increasingly concerned about the new Hungarian constitution and how the Hungarian government reacts to US and European crtitique against it.
Edward Hugh of Hungary Economy Watch comments on reactions to the Hungarian government's decision to drastically cut public debt.