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· February, 2020

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from February, 2020

Mitrovica Rock School unites young Albanians and Serbs in a segregated Kosovo city

In a segregated Kosovo city, where residents rarely talk to people of different ethnicity, a school restoring the rock music tradition of former Yugoslavia builds friendship between Albanians and Serbs.

Macedonians shocked over discovery of child ‘fight clubs’ in Skopje

Videos show dozens of adult spectators cheering as boys of school age fight on.

Pipeline problems for indigenous peoples on Russia's Yamal Peninsula

As gas pipelines creep across Russia's Yamal Peninsula, the lives of local reindeer herders are changing radically. Russia's energy companies say it's for the best — indigenous rights activists are...

Holy controversy over proposal to mention God in Russia's constitution

The patriarch's proposal to mention God in the preamble of the new constitution has divided Russian commentators. Their debate is less about belief in the Almighty — and more about...

North America has mustangs, Bosnia and Herzegovina has the wild horses of Livno

A herd of horses released in the wild decades ago has been thriving in the mountains near the city of Livno in the South of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Groundbreaking film on Russia's HIV epidemic goes viral

Nearly one percent of Russia's population is HIV positive, but the authorities have remained silent about the epidemic. It looks like Yury Dud's latest YouTube documentary has broken that silence.

Russian pranksters target Bernie Sanders

Notorious Russian pranksters posing as Greta Thunberg and her father claim that they have called up Bernie Sanders to offer an endorsement. Then their conversation went downhill, fast.

Coronavirus-related xenophobia spreads to Central and Eastern Europe

Incidents of hostility towards Asian people reported in North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Belarus and ...social networks across the region

Russians rally against torture after verdict against ‘terrorist cell’

Following a verdict against seven antifascist and anarchist activists, Russia's opposition discovers that whatever their political differences, they could all face the threat of torture.

New report makes grim predictions for ‘Fortress RuNet’

The most recent annual report by Russian NGOs Agora and Roskomsvoboda draws some troubling conclusions about what lies in store for the RuNet in years to come.

Czech Parliament elects ombudsman with history of racial discrimination

His appointment speaks of the poor state of human rights in the country.

Viral prank video mocks Putin's cult of personality

Russian blogger Bashir Dokhov hung a huge portrait of Putin in the elevator of a Moscow apartment block. He then installed a camera to record the reactions of stunned residents.

Slow progress on Moldova's thorny judicial reforms

Last year, disputes over judicial reform brought down Moldova's coalition government. Now the country's new rulers bring new proposals — which experts fear are designed to keep prosecutors under political...

How Russia influences Serbian media

Favorable perceptions of Russia and the Kremlin policies result from sustained long-term investment in propaganda, which also affects the wider media sphere in neighboring Balkan countries.

A Mexican engraver revives a mostly-forgotten Russian printmaking tradition

Interview with Alejandro Barreto, the engraver who makes unique Mexican lubki.

Nationalist, socialist, and now feminist: The many facets of Czech author Božena Němcová

February 4 marks the 200th anniversary of her birth. Over the past two centuries, Němcová has been remembered for different aspects of her life and work, usually picked to fit...

Can Moldova ever win its gruelling fight against corruption?

Much has changed in Moldova. Politicians have come and gone, but one thing remains static: their ability to draw Moldova into international corruption scandals. Can that ever change?

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