Belgrade’s new game: Elsewhere in emerging Europe

Our weekly digest of articles about emerging Europe published elsewhere this week, all of which caught our eye and all of which are well worth your time. Listing them here, however, does not necessarily mean that we agree with every word, nor do they necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.

Belgrade’s new game: Scapegoating Russia and courting the EU

Since Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, the Serbian government has nurtured its partnership with Russia to gain support on the Kosovo issue, build leverage with the West, and win votes among pro-Russian parts of the Serbian electorate. But Serbo-Russian ties are not what they used to be.

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New app aims to connect Albanians around the world

More than just a dating app, has ambitions to forge a range of connections between Albanians scattered around the globe.

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Fake news runs rampant in Moldova

From supposed cures for Covid-19 to conspiracy theories about Gulf sheikhs planning to take over Chisinau, disinformation remains widespread in Moldova.

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CEE investors pick potential winners in a post-Covid world

The global coronavirus pandemic has led to a rapid rethink of our working lives and what we are able to do safely in our free time. For regions like Central and Eastern Europe, already a growing source of vibrant startups and entrepreneurs, it has also led to a renewed focus on start-ups offering novel workplace solutions, as well as risk-free leisure activities for a pandemic and post-pandemic landscape.

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Voices from Belarus: ‘The situation is like a boiling cauldron’

The starting gun for Belarus’s popular uprising was the sound of car horns. Drivers took to honking in solidarity with nightly demonstrations calling for free and fair elections in the run-up to the presidential poll on August 9. Hooting was safer than being on the streets.

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Will historic protests in Bulgaria dislodge an entrenched oligarchy?

Karate coach, firefighter, bodyguard, Interior Ministry chief and now prime minister. Boyko Borissov has had an eclectic career, and if the protesters on the streets of Bulgarian cities have their way, he’ll soon leave the prime minister’s office for the third time.

Read to the full story here.

The Prince of Georgia is big on Instagram

Wired profile of the musician BERA, the son of Georgia’s former prime minister and richest man Bidzina Ivanishvili.

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Two decades after massive cyanide spill, Kyrgyz poisoning victims get scant compensation

More than 22 years after a deadly cyanide spill contaminated a remote mountain river of Kyrgyzstan, a Bishkek court has ruled in the case of more than two dozen residents of the northeastern village of Barskoon thought to have been poisoned by a transport accident near the Canadian-Kyrgyz gold-mining operation.

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High-profile Covid wedding highlights Azerbaijani political schism

The Azerbaijani government has weaponized public outrage, using footage of an extravagant, mask-less wedding during the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown to further ostracise a senior official recently ousted from President Ilham Aliyev’s inner circle.

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Polish priest who preached nonviolent resistance and rescued Jews subject of new biopic

A new film tells the inspiring, fascinating, but largely forgotten story of a man whose life became intertwined with Poland’s dramatic twentieth century – from volunteering during the Polish-Soviet War, through helping Jews escape the Holocaust, to participating in opposition to the postwar communist regime.

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The Montenegrin political novel: Dark thrillers, melodrama, and the decadence of the rich and the powerful

Authors living Montenegro certainly have a lot to write about, leading to a new wave of socially-critical fiction. The Calvert Journal has picked three pioneering novels at the vanguard of this new trend.

Read the full story here.

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