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· February, 2021

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from February, 2021

Bloggers, journalists and creatives in the crosshairs of the Belarusian state

As the space for free expression in Belarus narrows, many journalists and artists who covered the protests are awaiting trial.

After grisly murder, women hold protest in Baku

The demonstration was given impetus by the brutal murder of a 32-year-old woman.

In unrecognized Transnistria, a retiree faces criminal charges for ‘anti-Russian’ rhetoric

A 70-year-old Transnistria citizen faces a five-year prison term for critical statements about Russian peacekeeping forces in the breakaway Moldova region.

Serbia expels US neo-Nazi after investigative website Bellingcat outed his location

Queens, New York native Robert Rondo bragged about helping local neo-Nazis restore Serbian nationalist graffiti that had been defaced by anti-fascist activists.

Capturing the mood on both sides of the Ukraine-Russia conflict in Donbas

A new survey finds that Donbas citizens hold little trust in state institutions and are divided on the future of the region, but strive for economic stability.

New Russian law demands self-censorship from social media platforms

Experts believe that the most likely reason for the new self-censorship legislation is the state's desire to curtail the growing discontent and protest activity in the country.

Security concerns and legal ambiguities threaten the future of Ukraine's ‘State in a Smartphone’

On the anniversary of its launch, the revolutionary e-government app Diia boasts 6 million users, but seems to fall short when it comes to security standards and privacy.

Citizens protest against impunity for online sexual predators in North Macedonia

Public dissatisfaction with the authorities' inaction exploded on the anniversary of the unveiling of a scandal involving a Telegram group for sexual predators called Javna Soba (Public Room).

Farewell to Japanese sculptor who became a local hero in Prilep, North Macedonia

'During his short lifetime, and even shorter career, Ryota Koshika became one of the most prominent classic sculptors working in marble from Japan.'

Some Western observers share Central Asia's misgivings about Alexey Navalny

"Western policy-makers even turn a blind eye to the fact that Navalny’s foreign and security policies run directly counter to Western objectives. Maybe they think it’s worth the gamble."

Alexey Navalny's views on migrants run counter to his pro-democracy discourse

Alexey Navalny has emerged as a rallying figure for liberal Russians and a symbol of Russian opposition, but his image among Central Asians – including Russia's migrant workers – is...

Hungary's new health care law could upset expectant mothers’ birth plans

Unless decrees regulating prenatal care and childbirth are passed, pregnant women might be unable to deliver their babies with their obstetrician of choice.

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