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· November, 2019

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from November, 2019

Croatian president criticized for saying Yugoslavia was behind the Iron Curtain (it wasn't)

While most people from countries behind the Iron Courtain couldn't travel to the West, the Croatian president went to high school in the United States in the mid-80s.

MP of populist right-wing political party from North Macedonia confirms existence of party’s troll army

MP Daniela Rangelova is not the first high party official to reveal details about the existence of VMRO-DPMNE's “troll army”.

Albania hit by powerful earthquake, leaving 21 dead and hundreds injured

Global Voices spoke with Redi Muçi, an engineer who witnessed the aftermath in Durres.

Why is Central Europe leaning towards illiberal democracy? Interview with Czech author Radka Denemarková

"My biggest hope was that we would adopt the Western democratic values. Yet what we took from the West after 1989 was a model of consumerism and not a democratic...

Bosnian journalists demand justice in case of journalist threatened and assaulted by hooligans

The journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina are hoping that the judiciary in their country will finally start to systematically address the issue  of journalists' safety.

In Russia, individuals can now be branded ‘foreign agents’

The latest amendments expand the definition of "foreign agent" to individuals, at the discretion of the Ministry of Justice, which already maintains online lists of "foreign agent" media outlets and...

Turbulence in Moldova after ‘anti-oligarchic’ government falls

Moldova's ruling alliance was temporary and uneasy, widely considered to be unnatural but necessary. The biggest question was not whether but for how long it would last.

Disinformation and hate speech hide behind freedom of speech, says Slovenian journalist

"If you say 'I would put migrants up against the wall and shoot them,' a court will not prosecute you."

Teenage girls want to help victims of domestic violence in Albania with new app

The app connects survivors of domestic violence to important resources, including shelters, police, and support groups.

Some foreign correspondents were denied entry to Putin’s press conference in Budapest

Like Hungarian journalists critical of the government, foreign journalists working in the country are now facing an information blockade.

No major problems with fake news in Croatia, says news anchor

"We in Croatia have no major problems with false news, at least not in the mainstream media, but there is a certain distortion of facts on the margins of the...

Belarus 2020: A course to decolonisation?

Belarus is the most Russified post-Soviet country. In recent years, a series of creative civic initiatives to promote the Belarusian language have been launched to change that.

US withdrawal from Syria tests Russian soldiers’ social media use

New footage from Syria shows that despite new information security measures, the Russian military is willing to weaponise its soldiers' social media posts when it is timely to do so.

Putin announces plan to ‘replace’ Wikipedia

The publishing house behind the Great Russian Encyclopedia has allocated two billion rubles (over $30 million) aimed at developing a “domestic equivalent” to Wikipedia by the end of 2022.

Chechen leader suggests killing users who ‘insult honour’ online

For several years, human rights defenders have consistently cited Chechnya as one of Russia's most repressive regions, citing widespread torture, disappearances, and a complete intolerance of dissent.

Bulgarian prosecutor refuses far-right party's request to close down human rights NGO

On September 30, two VMRO-BND officials asked the prosecutor to dissolve the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee for “interfering with the judiciary” and engaging in "openly anti-Bulgarian activities."

Environmentalists raise alarm over hydropower boom in the Balkans

More than 2,700 small hydroelectric plants are either planned or under construction in the region. Critics say governments aren't properly assessing their impacts.

Behold Russia's new ‘sovereign internet’

The "sovereign internet" bill is about bringing the "critical infrastructure" of the RuNet under the state's oversight. That could mean a more effective implementation of Moscow's laws regulating expression online.

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