Dvořák for beginners: 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.

Dvořák: Where to start with his music

The Czech composer found inspiration in the New Worlds of the US, and his music has been to the moon, but it was in his native Bohemia that his heart lay.

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Sofia’s start-up ecosystem is one to watch

Bulgaria is yet to produce a tech unicorn, but that doesn’t mean its startup ecosystem should be overlooked. Over the past decade, Sofia’s start-up scene has flourished — even if it’s noticeably absent from the top positions in most tech rankings.

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Ukraine’s power play on Minsk

Within days of the US presidential election being called for Joe Biden, Ukraine’s armed forces resumed combat operations in over a dozen hot zones across the breakaway region of eastern Donbas.

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Czechs set sail on ancient Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal

The Czech government has given the go-ahead for the initial phase of a canal project that is meant to link three rivers — the Danube, the Oder and the Elbe. But does this scheme make sense?

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With Kazakh schools going online, parents and teachers face unexpected challenges, worries

In the era of Covid-19, Kazakhstan – like rest of the world – is trying to strike a balance between providing quality education and upholding health and sanitary norms to keep people from getting infected. With more than 70 per cent of its schoolchildren getting educated online, Kazakhstan is the only country in Central Asia to move the majority of its educational institutions to remote learning.

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How Belarusian football rose up against Europe’s ‘last dictator’

With the authorities’ attention turned away from stadiums and onto the streets, football matches in Belarus have become fertile ground for political resistance. Players celebrate by raising two fingers and a cuffed fist, a symbol of the Belarusian opposition. Fans reciprocate, displaying banners and anti-regime chants.

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In Karabakh deal, as many questions as answers

The deal left unmentioned critical issues like the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh and Turkey’s role in implementing the ceasefire.

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Coronavirus deaths pile up in Georgia amidst political unrest

Despite new restrictions including a curfew and mask mandate, the government has so far failed to halt rising deaths and case numbers of Covid-19. Amidst the pandemic, protesters have also continued to gather in large crowds, often ignoring safety measures.

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Turkmenistan fails to create vast lake in Karakum desert

Authorities prefer to pour money into huge vanity projects than invest in local water solutions to help long-suffering farmers.

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A new front opens in the Russia-Ukraine conflict: Borscht

“A lot of things were taken away from Ukraine, but they will not take our borscht,” says a chef who is leading a drive to recognise the soup as a Ukrainian cultural heritage.

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Back from the dead: Race to save Romania’s 65 million-year-old fish

On a tiny stretch of the fast-flowing Valsan river in Romania lives one of the rarest fish in Europe, and quite possibly the world.

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Angels and muses come to life in Kyiv

Ukrainian artist Alexey Kondakov’s Instagram account @alksko shows what life in 2020 Kyiv would look like if Renaissance gods and goddesses, angels, and muses lived in it.

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