More than abortion rights: 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.

This is about more than abortion rights in Poland

Poland’s protests can be a rallying cry for a new feminist internationalism that demands and wins public services for care, social housing, universal health care, and wage justice.

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Romania hospital fire fuels fear of further disasters

Ten coronavirus patients died in a fire at a Romanian hospital last Saturday, sparking wider safety warnings in a country marked by crumbling infrastructure and a culture of makeshift repairs.

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Kyrgyzstan’s proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion

A new-look constitution backed by a majority of Kyrgyzstan’s malleable lawmakers has provoked a swell of revulsion among politicians and activists alarmed that the current ruling elite is bent on embracing full-blast authoritarianism.

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For displaced Azerbaijanis, truce reawakens ‘dream’ of returning home

Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, has been challenged by the international community and rights groups to ensure the safety of all who live in the areas of Nagorno-Karabakh it now controls. But Aliyev is likely to encourage Azerbaijanis to resettle the territory.

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Croatia’s Stalingrad

How the massacre at Vukovar still casts a long shadow, 19 years on.

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Lukashenko, Belarus brace for economic winter of discontent

Economic problems only do so much to hurt authoritarian rulers like Alexander Lukashenko, who retains Moscow’s backing. But time is not on his side as Belarus’ coffers run low, investment freezes and the currency tanks.

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In Bosnian river town, far-right symbols and a link to Ukraine

Finding inspiration in Ukraine’s notorious far-right battalion Azov, Bosnian Croat ‘skinheads’ and football fans in the town of Mostar have embraced far-right and neo-Nazi symbols and slogans.

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Bubble trouble: Estonia and the coronavirus crisis

With the advent of the second wave, the medical situation in all three Baltic countries is changing quickly and, therefore, demands some flexibility from them to adequately handle the crisis

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Uzbekistan: The long struggle for freedom of expression

Freedom of expression remains partial and fragile in Uzbekistan, but a limited recent opening may be impossible to reverse.

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Into the weird, opulent world of Turkmenistan’s dentist-DJ dictator

With the title of Protector, Turkmenistan’s president Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov is all about big, bombastic gestures that let you know he’s in charge. Most recently he ordered a 20-foot gold statue of his favorite dog, a local Alabay breed, put up in the capital Ashgabat.

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The arts university on the frontline of Viktor Orbán’s culture war

This summer, Budapest’s prestigious University of the Arts and Theatre (SZFE) was placed under the governance of a private foundation. But while supporters claimed the move would prompt needed reform, others saw it as the latest step in Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s “war on culture” — an extended campaign which has seen Hungary’s ruling right-wing Fidesz party clamp down on liberalism or even opposition sentiment.

Read the full story here.

Molchat Doma: Monument

The Belarusian new wave band’s latest album is an austere gothic dream with no interest in pandering to the audience attracted by their improbable TikTok breakthrough.

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