Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from May, 2023
‘Support does not necessarily mean understanding': Interview with founder of Taiwan-based ‘Ukrainian Voices’ Oleksandr Shyn
As Taiwan and Ukraine face threats — and Kyiv a real invasion — from their large and immediate neighbours — China and Russia — is the popular comparison between Taiwan and Ukraine valid?
Taiwan and Central Europe are increasingly aligned politically and economically: Interview with Polish analyst Marcin Jerzewski
Taiwan and Central Europe did not prioritize mutual relations until the COVID-19 pandemic during which they developed intensive ties that have evolved today to a much more robust relationship.
Remembering the ruined Donetsk International Airport in Ukraine
In 2014, the airport terminal built for the Euro-2012 games became a fighting hot spot in the Ukraine's struggle against the covert Russian invasion of Donetsk region. It is now rubble.
Russia may ban transgender transitioning
Over the past year, the situation for the transgender community in Russia has significantly deteriorated. in May 2023 the Ministry of Justice actively discussed either making more difficult or completely banning transgender transition.
‘Almost all famous artists have left or will leave [Russia], and those who remain will be blacklisted and banned’
For Russian rock, the “golden era” was the years of the underground, the end of the 70s and the first half of the 80s. The question is, will this “new underground” emerge?
#FramedinBelarus: An art group makes embroidery depicting the stories of political prisoners
The project aims to create portraits of each illegally convicted citizen in Belarus (political prisoners) using the traditional Belarusian embroidery technique of red thread on a white background
Unfreedom Monitor Report: Hungary
Advox research into digital authoritarianism in Hungary is now in a report. Read an excerpt and download the full pdf.
Persecuted Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light minority denied asylum in Europe amidst escalating violence
Since its inception in 1999, the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light minority has been subjected to systematic oppression based on a belief that they are heretics.
Who will this generation be after the war in Ukraine?
I never cared about politics. And now I am 37, I have a bunch of written books under my belt, also translations, depression, and a gun.
How the school massacre in Serbia played out on TikTok
Comments demanding the release of the detained teenager who committed the school shooting in Belgrade were common on TikTok videos, expressing “love” for him as a “hero” and a “legend”.
Protests break out in Georgia as Russia flight routes resume
Flights between Georgia and Russia have been banned since 2019, on President Putin's orders, following Russian lawmaker Sergey Gavrilov's visit to the country in June 2019. They just reopened to much controversy.
Journalists from Serbian KRIK convicted for criticizing SLAPP suits against newsroom
"The judgement clearly indicates that SLAPP lawsuits have become the main tool of the regime for closing down the few independent media left," stated Stevan Dojčinović, editor-in-chief of the Serbian investigative outlet KRIK.
Kyiv Animal Rescue Group has evacuated 300 cats and dogs from eastern Ukraine
The volunteers noticed that the animals living in war zones amid constant shelling are very warm to people. They are scared, and seem to want to be rescued.
Hungarian beekeepers find a haven for bees in Kyrgyzstan
Describing the Toktogul region, Ferenc Takács from Fulmer says: “This is a heaven for bees because it is a heaven for flowers.”
The stories of Koreans in Kyrgyzstan who converted to Islam
Their conversion is partly the result of the re-Islamization of Kyrgyzstan, which started in 1991, after Kyrgyzstan gained independence.
A Ukrainian wartime love story
On the morning of February 24, we were not planning to go to war but to a traditional dance class. We were learning to dance the polka.
Getting the Balkans wrong: The foreign coverage crisis
"Covering the Western Balkans requires more preparation than other parts of Europe. It’s not enough to know local politics. You need to appreciate the culture and society."
Cultural diplomacy, LGBTQ+ rights, and Ukraine in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest
On the evening of the Eurovision Grand Final, Ternopil, the home city of Ukraine's 2023 Eurovision contestant, TVORCHI, was brutally shelled by Russian forces.
For Moldovan singer, Eurovision results are a bit of a ‘déjà vu’
Both the winner, Swedish singer Loreen, and Moldova's Pasha Parfeni participated in Eurovision 2012. In 2012, Loreen won the contest, too.
The long 1980s: Belarusian dark wave band Molchat Doma takes its music to the US
"Even though the band hasn’t felt safe declaring their political views directly, their music seems like an oblique commentary on the persistence of totalitarianism."
Caring for a relative with dementia while Ukraine is under siege
Olga shares her experience caring for her mother who suffered from dementia, throughout the last ten years — including during Russia's invasion.