Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from August, 2012
Katherine Brooks of The Huffington Post and Natalia Antonova at the Guardian's Comment is Free write about Taras Polataiko's Sleeping Beauty project, which did open on Aug. 22 at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv, despite some initial problems (which the Ukrainian-Canadian artist described on his Facebook page)....
Macedonian social media users are calling [mk] for a state-sponsored celebration for Olivera Nakovska-Bikova, who won a gold medal in shooting at the Paralympic Games finals in London, after setting a world record during the qualifications.
Following Hungary's release of an Azerbaijani army officer convicted of murdering an Armenian soldier, Armenia has severed diplomatic ties with the Central European country.
Russian adventures and misadventures in parking could be a movie plot. But Russia’s parking problems are anything but comedy. It remains to be seen how vigorously the country will deal with illegal parking. If it succeeds, its methods could show what kind of transportation system and cities Russia will have, and even what kind of country it will be.
After weeks of tensions caused by the adoption of the controversial Language Law and in the midst of an intense pre-election mudslinging period, Ukrainians are finally rewarded with the much-needed comic relief - which they have promptly transformed into something of an online political protest movement.
A photo uploaded on Facebook suggests that Janysh Bakiyev, the brother of the former Kyrgyzstani president ousted by 2010 protests, lives in Minsk. This has sparked an extradition request, the withdrawal of an ambassador and the storming of an embassy.
On his Tumblr blog, Michael Idov, editor-in-chief of GQ Russia, writes that “pop conspirology, a favorite Russian pastime, is a projection of discomfort with slackened gender roles.” He explains: “It’s not just about the ‘Jews’ or the ‘world government’ any more. It’s about weird semiotic clusters organized around degrees of...
A fact-checking intervention - a joint effort by Macedonian and Bulgarian social media users - has helped independent journalists expose forged documents used as a lure for suspicious humanitarian donations.
Some 45-50 people have been living in their makeshift shacks in the abandoned woods of District X in Budapest. Some of the residents have built up self-supporting farms, but in June 2012 the local municipality started to move them out, which is not a unique phenomenon in Hungary's capital.
On August 25, unknown parties sawed down three wooden crosses in the city of Chelyabinsk, in the Urals. The same night, another cross came down in Arkhangelsk, in the north. Was it a copycat political statement, or a dire plot by the Kremlin to sow discord?
After news that Russian television will soon be forced to curtail showings of a classic children’s cartoon “Nu, Pogodi!” [wiki] (the Soviet version of Tom & Jerry but with wolf and bunny instead of cat and mouse) because it is too violent for a new law protecting children from the...
The Moscow police department has determined [ru] that Aleksei Navalny's email and Twitter accounts were hacked in late June from a German IP address. Fellow liberal blogger Andrey Malgin criticized [ru] the announcement, accusing the authorities of disguising their own responsibility for supposedly stealing [ru] Navalny's passwords in a June 11 search [ru] of...
Russia's Foreign Ministry has made a series of comments that further enraging Pussy Riot's supporters. Spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich defended the recent verdict and lashed out at the West for ignorance about the band members' pasts and highlighted perceived double standards regarding interferences into religious services and criminal penalties, citing laws in Germany and Austria.
In the lead up to Russia's next large protests planned for mid-September, activists and politicians of the anti-Kremlin opposition are increasingly showing an interest in running for local offices. If successful at the ballot box, could this trend bestow valuable "real world" political experience on Russia's protesters?
This September, Russia is planning to hold 'Caucasus-2012' with forces from the breakaway Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. With 8,000 troops, as well as heavy machinery, artillery, navy, and air force, this will be Russia’s largest exercise this year. Is this too close for comfort for Georgians?
An interview with Adam Dobrzynski, a member of the heavy metal band "Wanderer" and a translator for GV Poland.
In the aftermath of a hacker attack on the court that convicted Pussy Riot's 3 members, Kremlin youth group organizer and Senator Ruslan Gattarov [ru] has proposed [ru] making criminal penalties stricter for those who target government websites. Gattarov suggests equating hacks with illegal physical occupations of government buildings, which carry a...
The Pussy Riot trial has caused no small amount of debate among Russia's public figures, including an amusing row between two of the country's best known celebrities.
Ushahidi blog's current “Deployment of the Week” selection [en, mk] is React! Be Safe! (“Реагираj!”), an online platform against gender-based violence in public spaces [en, mk, sq], launched by the think-tank Reactor, initially covering the Skopje municipalities of Centar and Čair.