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.
Car-sharing, Donetsk style: How business works in occupied Donbas
In the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk “people’s republics”, there is no free transfer of capital, and transferring big funds out of the area is extremely difficult. There is no legal banking system, and there is practically no protection of private property. But people still run their businesses.
Putin’s big lie
In a series of comments in late December, the Russian president appeared to blame Poland for the outbreak of World War II.
Is Bosnia a time-bomb?
French President Emmanuel Macron has described Bosnia and Herzegovina as a “ticking time-bomb” and a grave concern for Europe because of jihadists returning from Syria.
Poverty-stricken Hungarians are easy pickings for traffickers on Facebook
Promises of a better life in many social media posts are often a trap for marginalised communities such as the Roma.
In Poland, a stubborn defender of judicial independence
Judge Igor Tuleya has faced threats, fake anthrax attacks and denunciations in the right-wing news media as he fights the government’s campaign to control the courts.
When Eastern Europe left the world behind
Eastern Europe’s nationalist turn began even before 1989 — as socialist regimes abandoned their pretence of international solidarity.
Violence escalates as Romania cracks down on illegal timber trade
Two rangers have been killed in three months and whistleblowers face intimidation and ostracism.
Postmodern relativism and digital natives in Central and Eastern Europe
Postmodern relativism is a dangerous tool in the hands of authoritarian regimes. They are willing to undermine public trust within democratic institutions by spreading disinformation and conspiracy theories.
First kosher bar in former Soviet Union serves up cocktails and Torah lessons
Israeli entrepreneur David Roitman says he opened Kosher Bar as personal duty to help rebuild the historic Jewish community of Odessa in Ukraine, which he left as a child.
The Kosovo traders defying a town’s ethnic divide
Serb, Albanian, Roma, Bosniak? In one corner of the ethnically-divided Kosovo city of Mitrovica, when it comes to trade, ethnicity is no barrier.
The woman saving Georgia’s lost cheeses
Georgia’s artisanal cheesemaking tradition was forced underground due to an oppressive Soviet-planned economy, but one woman is dedicated to bringing the ancient varieties back.