I am a Swedish specialist on politics and security in Russia and “Eastern Europe.” I have been dealing with the region on and off since the early 1990s and been around quite a lot.
At Vilhelm Konnander's Weblog I blog about all the thoughts and reflections within my field that I need to get out of my system. No wonder, given the theme of my blog: Politics & Security in Russia, Central & Eastern Europe & Central Asia. On Twitter @vkonnander.
Latest posts by Vilhelm Konnander from August, 2011
Russia: Intoxicating Economics
Streetwise Professor argues against the bad economics of promoting Russian wine production to turn consumption patterns from stronger to weaker alcoholic beverages in order to fight the country's rampant alcoholism.
Latvia: Electoral Expectations
Veiko Spolitis of Baltic blog spans the pollster field in the runup to the 17 September parliamentary elections in Latvia and finds that a great but decreasing proportion of voters are still undecided.
Russia: Alcohol Consumption Down
Russland in der Krise! notes [ger] that alcohol consumption in Russia has decreased from 18 to 15 litres of alcohol, and attributes the decrease to a change in consumer habits and less availability.
Russia: 20 Years After the Putsch
Putin Watcher joins in commemorating all the bicentennials of soviet demise coming up this August by writing about the failed coup against Gorbachev in 1991.
Russia: Arresting Political Opposition
Vladimir Kara-Murza of Spotlight on Russia argues that Putin's Russia is becoming increasingly Kafkaesque as opposition leader Boris Nemtsov again – twice in two days – has been arrested for exercising political rights and freedoms, at the same time as Prime Minister Putin is seemingly becoming all the more detached...
Ukraine: Closing Window to West
LEvko of Foreign Notes writes about increasing western critique against the trials against former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Timoshenko, and several of her ex-colleagues, and how this – combinded with corruption and bad business climate – is effectively closing the window to integration with the European Union.
Baltics-Sweden: Twenty Years of Independence
Albatros of Litauen blog reports about [ger] Swedish celebrations of 20 years of independence for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and how Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, apologised to his Baltic colleagues for recognizing soviet annexation during World War II.
Russia: Volga German Deportation Turns 70
Otto's Random Thoughts commemorates the 70th anniversary of the soviet deportation of Volga Germans during the Second World War.
Serbia: Dramatic Return of the Chetniks
Carl Savich of Serbianna writes about the 1942 radio play, Treasury Parade, starring Orson Welles, and how it glorifies the Chetniks’ struggle against Nazi occupation during the Second World War.
Latvia: Uncertain Election Outcome
Veikko Spolitis of Baltic blog discusses the uncertain political situation in Latvia subsequent to the 23 July referendum resulting in a call for new parliamentary elections on September 17, where a third of the electorate is undecided whom to vote for.
USA-Russia: Pros and Cons of the Reset Policy
Morning in Moldova joins an intensifying discussion about the US Russia reset policy, and lists pros and cons with the Obama administration's relations to Moscow.
Poland: Can Communist Architecture Be Cherished?
Michael Dembinski of W-wa Jeziorki discusses whether edifices of communist era architecture, such as Warszawa Zachodnia station, can be as cherished as older historical landmarks.
Hungary: Memory of a Political Thinker
Eva Balogh of Hungarian Spectrum commemorates István Bibó (1911-1975), who in her opinion is one of the greatest political thinkers in Hungary during the 20th century.
Estonia: A Breivik of Tallinn?
Giustino of Itching for Eestimaa draws parallels between the confused motives of Oslo killer Anders Breivik and Karen Drambjan and his failed attempt at attacking the Estonian Ministry of Defence in Tallinn on 11 August.
Russia: Moscow Calls for Limited OSCE Election Observation
The Democratist argues that the OSCE should not bulge to Russian demands to limit the number of election observers for the December 2011 parliamentary elections in the country.
Russia-Georgia-US: Versions of War
Eugene Ivanov of The Ivanov Report – on the third anniversary of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war – argues that US demands that Georgia should control its entire territory to become a NATO-member was a key motivation for escalation of the South Ossetian conflict into outright war.
US-Russia: Reset in the Balance
Gordon Hahn of Russia: Other Points of View provides perspective to the gradual decay of US Russia reset policy against the background of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war and increasing political turmoil in Ukraine.
Russia: Prokhorov Launches Pravoe Delo Pre-election Campaign
Kevin Rothrock of A Good Treaty presents an extensive analysis on billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and his Kremlin-close opposition party Pravoe Delo [ru], as the party joins an intensifying campaign to lay the ground for success in parliamentary elections due in December this year.
Russia: No Exaggeration in Rumours of Reset Death?
Edward Lozansky of Russia Blog argues that the US Russia reset policy is losing steam in view of decreased domestic support and increasing opposition.
Russia: Babe Armies of Putin, Medvedev and Limonov
Gerhard Mangott reports [ger] that the use of Russian pre-election campaign videos with scantily clad girls now has spread from Prime Minister Putin [ru], via President Medvedev [ru], to National Bolshevik leader Limonov [ru].
Lithuania-Belarus: Banks Help Prosecute Opposition Activist
Albatros of Litauen blog discusses [ger] how Lithuanian banks and authorities have delivered information on bank accounts of Belarusan opposition groups, which has led to the prosecution of Viasna activist Ales Belyatsky for tax evasion.