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Elsewhere in emerging Europe

A selection 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.

Belarus, often referred to as Europe’s last dictatorship, is using the bitcoin bubble to boost its tech sector, part of a programme designed to relaunch the country as a forward-thinking technology-powered nation.

Full story here.

Inundated with cruise ship tourists, the medieval walled town of Kotor in Montenegro already risks losing its UNESCO heritage status. Now environmental experts and activists are sounding the alarm over the Bay of Kotor’s delicate ecosystem.

Full story here.

Twenty years ago, NATO planes began air strikes on Yugoslavia in an effort to end the 1998-99 Kosovo War and bloodshed between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. The 78-day bombing campaign that started on March 24, 1999 eventually put an end to the conflict that killed more than 10,000 people. Two decades later, ethnic Albanians and Serbs have very different feelings about the anniversary.

Full story here.

A couple of years ago, Marc Jacobs’ mercer slip on sneakers looked as if they had been specially designed for the Croatian football fan. The shoe featured the red and white checks combined with blue and white, bearing a striking resemblance to the Croatian flag.  Now one of the most popular bags of the season, the Marc Jacobs Snapshot camera bag, has gone ‘Croatian’.

Full story here.

Last year saw Armenians overthrow their long-hated government and replace it with one led by the charismatic Nikol Pashinyan. The Economist named Armenia “country of the year. The Smithsonian Institution hosted an impressive festival of Armenian culture in Washington. And to cap it off, in September New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opened a landmark exhibit showcasing centuries of Armenian art: “Armenia!” The show has been almost uniformly praised. But behind the scenes, its origins have stoked evident embarrassment. 

Full story here.

After decades of ethnic conflict, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan are preparing to meet to try to resolve their long-term clash over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Observers have many reasons to be skeptical that yet another one-off meeting will lead to a thaw at long last.

Full story here.

House prices in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, have been rising for years, but now that supply is catching up to demand, the market is slowing.

Full story here.

United Nations judges have sentenced former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic to life in prison, ending one of the most momentous trials over genocide and war crimes committed during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. The Hague-based tribunal ruled his initial 40-year jail term was too light and decided to increase it to life behind bars. But do his victims feel justice has finally been served?

Full story here.

Brexit is a mess, but UK startups may find refuge in Estonia’s e-Residency.

Full story here.

Albanian DJs are working tirelessly to put Tirana on the dance music map.

Full story here.