Refugees not welcome: 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.

The world is becoming less tolerant of migrants

The world is becoming less tolerant of migrants, according to a poll released this week as Europe prepared to unveil a new asylum plan in the wake of a blaze at an overcrowded camp in Greece that left thousands without shelter. Seven European countries, led by North Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia, topped the Gallup index of the world’s least-accepting countries.

Read the full story here.

In Turkmenistan, denial and inaction are making a food crisis worse

Government inaction in response to the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically exacerbated Turkmenistan’s pre-existing food crisis. Shortages of subsidised food, accelerating since 2016, have worsened, with people waiting hours in line to try to buy more affordable food products, often being turned away empty-handed.

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Western travel writers are hooked on Balkan war stories. Local voices could be the answer

Foreign travel writers in the Balkans often find themselves falling back on wartime tropes. But 25 years on from the Yugoslav conflict, such comparisons no longer hold up to scrutiny. It’s time for reporters to look a little harder — both at the region, and themselves.

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European regulators failed to spot suspicious money flooding through Latvia’s banks

European regulators gave the green light for international banks to handle billions of dollars that flowed from the former Soviet Union through Latvia’s banking sector, even as thousands of these transactions were being red-flagged to the US Treasury, leaked bank records show.

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Germany’s eastern trade starts recovery from pandemic-linked damage

German trade with its eastern neighbours began recovering in July after the devastation the coronavirus pandemic caused to ties between the highly integrated economies of central Europe, but only in the case of Poland was there a return to growth.

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In conservative Tajikistan, Gen Z activists are using Instagram to fight for feminism

For years, the scars of Tajikistan’s bloody civil war has left many people craving stability and social norms. Now, a new online generation is moving past conflict — and embracing feminism.

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Armenian football’s long wrestle for success

With all its dramas and turmoil, the 20th century was not kind on Armenia, where sport and football were far from a priority. The country nevertheless emerged from it all with a resilience and strength that can also be found in its clubs and national team.

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Covid-19 puts Balkan winemakers over a barrel

Balkan wines have been making inroads on the global wine scene in recent years. But a surplus of unsold wine due to the Covid-19 pandemic could prove devastating.

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In Serbia, China’s Digital Silk Road might be in trouble very soon

A breakthrough agreement signed between Serbia and Kosovo could spell the end of Huawei’s thriving presence in Serbia.

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Ukraine’s anti-corruption court bares its teeth

The officials who ran Ukraine before its revolution in 2014 are believed to have stolen billions of US dollars. One crony gave Viktor Yanukovych, when he was president, a solid gold loaf of bread. So nabbing a regional forestry official for a 10,000 US dollar bribe may seem like small potatoes. But the sentencing on August 28 of Oleksandr Levkivsky, who stands to serve four years in prison for taking a kickback to let out public land, is a big deal.

Read the full story here.

KazakhMan brings local flavour to well-worn superhero format

This latest addition to the rich constellation of animated superheroes marks a fresh attempt by Kazakh artists to offer heroic antics with a local twist.

Read the full story here.

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