Montenegro’s wartime missing: 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.

Montenegro’s wartime missing

Over 50 Montenegrins who disappeared in the wars in the former Yugoslavia are still listed as missing – and experts say the authorities must improve cooperation with the country’s neighbours if their graves are to be found.

Read the full story here.

‘Fake news’ sites in North Macedonia pose as American conservatives ahead of US election

A town in North Macedonia that became famous for spreading “fake news” to US voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election is back at it in 2020. Internet researchers at Stanford University say “partisan clickbait” websites in Veles, North Macedonia, are once again posing as conservative US news outlets in order to gather online advertising revenue.

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In Belarus, tech workers fear for their industry’s future

There are now fears that the political situation in Belarus could quash one of the country’s most successful businesses. In mid-August, over 500 representatives of the country’s booming tech sector signed an open letter casting doubt on official election results, demanding the release of political prisoners and an end to violence and detentions of protesters. They have been irritated by the authorities’ internet blackouts aimed at preventing protesters organising over social media. Some threatened to relocate to neighbouring Poland, Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania. The results of that, observers say, could be very worrying, as IT is a growing sector of the Belarusian economy.

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Poland’s lack of colonial past can help its businesses succeed in Africa

Polish businesses are already becoming increasingly active in Africa. And with large, private investments supported by platforms and institutions bringing together firms interested in expansion, Poland could be well placed to expand its trade and investment links with the “continent of the future”, making the most of its lack of colonial baggage and own experiences of economic transition.

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Turkmenistan: Going donuts

Turkmenistan’s dictatorial regime is mostly deaf to people’s complaints, but it sometimes caves.

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Trump’s final campaign strategy is to spread a bunch of misinformation about Joe Biden, his son, and Ukraine

President Donald Trump, behind in the polls and running out of time and opportunities to directly hit his challenger Joe Biden, resorted to a convoluted tale of misinformation and baseless conspiracy theories at Thursday night’s debate involving the former vice president’s record on Ukraine and his son’s work with an energy company there.

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Mobile gaming: Soon bigger than the music market?

In late August, mobile gaming developer Huuuge Games announced that it had submitted an IPO prospectus to the Polish financial market regulator. The listing, if and when it happens, could ultimately help to create a new Polish unicorn and further elevate the country’s gaming sector, which has seen rapid growth in recent years.

Read the full story here.

Will Uzbekistan seat on UN Human Rights Council bolster justice?

Uzbekistan is poised to join the UN Human Rights Council in January alongside two authoritarian stalwarts, Russia and China. But while Western capitals deride Moscow and Beijing’s membership, they have welcomed Tashkent’s accession as an opportunity to advance that Central Asian country’s stuttering human rights reforms.

Read the full story here.

How Indiana Jones, Rambo, and others ended up in 1980s Czechoslovak text-adventures

To mock the communist regime, Czechoslovak kids made illicit video games supporting protests.

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Outrage around children’s book in Hungary fuels fears of rising homophobia

Boldizsar Nagy hoped that the tales in the children’s book “Wonderland Is For Everyone” would help youngsters to learn to accept minorities and fight social ostracism. Instead, it has caused a stir in Hungarian politics, with the far-right and the ruling nationalist government labeling it “homosexual propaganda” that should be banned from schools.

Read the full story here.

Kosovo Albanian actor’s spirit lives on at Belgrade festival

Ten years after the death of celebrated Yugoslav-era actor Bekim Fehmiu, the Kosovo Albanian’s legacy continues to inspire an arts festival in Belgrade that seeks to promote tolerance and cross-border cooperation.

Read the full story here.

Halabala hullabaloo: the 1930s Czech furniture designer vintage buyers can’t get enough of

Before IKEA, there was Halabala furniture. Now modern designers can’t get enough of one man’s take on mid-century Czech interior design.

Read the full story here.

Photo: BIRN/Milos Vujovic

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