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.
Romanian corruption film, Srebrenica drama shortlisted for Oscars
A documentary about how media revealed the corruption plaguing Romania’s healthcare system and a Bosnian woman’s story about the Srebrenica genocide have been shortlisted for best international feature film at the 2021 Oscars.
Will the EU stand by as Viktor Orbán attacks independent media in Hungary?
As another independent radio station is forced to close, the EU should uphold its principles on free press and investigate the monopoly of state media in Hungary
How Serbia soared ahead in vaccination campaign
Serbia’s US-educated prime minister was the first European leader to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The country’s Russophile internal affairs minister rolled up his sleeve for an armful of Sputnik V. And the health minister happily posed for his injection with Sinopharm’s coronavirus shot.
In Ukraine, taking three pro-Russia channels off the air raises complex issues
In times of armed conflict, governments will be routinely challenged on what limits on human rights they deem necessary and what standards they will preserve. Fighting disinformation can be one such challenge. In Ukraine, which has been fighting a war with Russia for almost seven years, this was spotlighted last week when President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree that resulted in three pro-Russia television channels with large viewership in Ukraine being taken off the air.
Belarus: Protesters in for the long haul as standoff continues
Demonstrations in Belarus continue in spite of an intensifying government crackdown and sub-zero temperatures. With opposition leaders either in exile or in jail, where does the protest movement go from here?
Green energy investors target Poland as it weans itself off coal
Poland’s biggest power producer PGE confirmed a deal on Wednesday to develop offshore wind farms with Denmark’s Orsted in another sign the country reliant on coal is fast becoming a hot destination for renewable energy investors.
Why Biden should not support Georgia’s ascension to NATO
Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s suggestion during his confirmation hearing that he would consider supporting Georgia’s membership in NATO has largely gone overlooked. Georgian media has since reported that Blinken also raised the Georgia issue in his first call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. But if the Biden administration continues to push the issue of Georgia’s potential NATO membership, it would endanger the already precarious stability of the South Caucasus and increase the likelihood of misunderstanding between Moscow and Washington.
The next frontier in drone warfare? A Soviet-era crop duster
In September 2020, on the second day of the six-week war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, the Armenian defense forces published a video of one of their units deploying a surface-to-air missile system to target a low-flying, slow-moving object—a drone. But what the soldiers shot down was no cutting-edge autonomous weapon.
Uzbekistan rising as Central Asian integration catalyst
A new dynamic governing regional integration is shaping up in Central Asia. Uzbekistan is challenging Kazakhstan’s position as the region’s power broker, and China’s economic choices may well be a critical factor in determining the outcome of the leadership rivalry.
Tajikistan increases pressure on opposition at home, abroad
Tajik authorities have increased pressure on opponents of the government, both at home and abroad, in recent weeks. Several activists, government critics, and suspected supporters of banned opposition groups have been jailed.
Taming the Garden: New documentary asks ‘What is a tree really worth?’
Salomé Jashi’s latest documentary, Taming the Garden, follows a Georgian billionaire’s quest to build the Garden of Eden — but it is in tracing the ripples that such an obsession leaves behind that the filmmaker finds her greatest riches.
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