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.
Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani: Principled, yet willing to take risks
Vjosa Osmani, the fifth president of the Republic of Kosovo, is currently visiting Berlin. So what drives the woman holding Europe’s youngest state’s highest political office?
Romania: The new mayor looking to clean up local politics
In the central Romanian city of Târgu Mureș, a former archaeologist and political newcomer is seeking to heal ethnic divisions and clean up corruption and mismanagement.
Who is Aleksandr Franchetti, the Russian arrested in Prague and wanted by Kyiv for his actions in Crimea?
In Prague, his home off and on since the 1990s, information about a middle-aged Russian man arrested last weekend for his alleged actions during Moscow’s seizure of Crimea in 2014 is hard to come by.
Belarus dictator poses growing threat to Ukraine
Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko has announced plans to deploy Russian S-400 air defence systems along the Ukrainian border, raising fears that he is prepared to play a more prominent role in Russia’s ongoing hybrid war against Ukraine.
Kazakhstan: Pyramid fraudsters prey on small-time investors
Finiko’s promotional videos are straight out of the pyramid-scheme playbook. The clip opens with shots of flowers, champagne, party balloons and happy people hugging and kissing. A man in a business suit and wearing an expensive watch introduces himself to camera as a partner in Finiko, described in his telling as an exciting investment company in Kazakhstan. “Invest in the right companies,” the man advises.
A visit to FC Sheriff: Champions League upstarts from an unrecognised land
Soviet sounds, unanswered questions and local pride emerge from trip to Moldovan club from Russia-backed Transnistria.
‘Not a flag to wave’: Pope criticises political use of Christianity
On a four-day visit to Slovakia and Hungary, Francis had strong words for those who wield Christian symbols for personal gain.
Grassroots democracy is thriving across Europe
With Covid accentuating many of the challenges posed by populism, disinformation and a collapse in public trust, the narrative of democracy labouring in deep crisis is now well established. Yet as the threats have mounted, so have efforts to defend and rethink Europe’s democratic practices.
Why Ukraine’s Olympic bid could be a very smart move
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that the country is preparing an official bid to host the Winter Olympics.
László Krasznahorkai: Where to start with his literature
László Krasznahorkai is probably the best-known contemporary Hungarian author. His work has received the International Booker Prize in 2015, the National Book Award for Translated Literature in 2019, and the America Award for a lifetime contribution to international writing in 2014, among many others. Known for his breathless, demanding prose, and his itinerant life, Krasznahorkai’s career spans over three decades and three continents.
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